Minister of State for Telecom Manoj Sinha Monday launched multiple telecom and railways related projects in Odisha including rural areas of the state. Among the projects he launched include public WiFi hotspots, 2G and 3G towers as well as footer bridge and escalators in some stations.
In an event held in Bhubaneswar Sinha launched 280 public WiFi hotspots as part of rural connectivity program. These hotspots were commissioned by Bharat Broadband Network Ltd(BBNL) and are part of the Government of India’s ambitious BharatNet program.
Local BJP leader and Minister for Petroleum and Natural Gas Dharmendra Pradhan was also present during the event.
The minister also launched 480 3G and 400 2G telecom towers in the state in order to improve mobile connectivity in the state. It can be recalled that around 10,000 villages in Odisha, the second highest in the country, are yet to get a mobile connectivity. This data was revealed during a report filed in the Parliament in the last session.
Besides the public WiFi hotspots and telecom towers, Sinha also launched WiFi Choupal project for 100 blocks in Jagatsinghpur district of Odisha.
It is believed that these steps will take the state couple of notches higher in terms of offering mobile connectivity in the state, and moreover, in the rural areas. BharatNet project that aims at connecting 250,000 gram panchayats (GPs) in the country with high-speed data connectivity is expected to be completed by end of this month. As per the latest data provided by the government, by end of December 2018, more than 120,000 GPs have been connected with the BharatNet plan.
The BharatNet project, besides connectivity all villages, also aims at putting up one WiFi hotspot in each village and five in each block. The government also wants to set up 1 million WiFi hotspots by December 2019.
Besides the telecom projects, Sinha also laid the foundation stone for a new escalator at Bhubaneswar railway station and dedicated a foot-over-bridge (FoB) and an escalator at Berhampur railway station.