Current Status on State Wide Area Network

The “State Wide Area Network” (SWAN), under the National e-Governance Plan, was approved by the Government in March, 2005 with an estimated outlay of Rs. 3334 crore rupees. SWAN is to be extended to the entire country within a period of 5 years, i.e. by 2010. An Empowered Committee considers and approves SWAN proposals from individual State/Union Territories (UT). After the approval of the Empowered Committee, a State/UT level Implementation Committee is responsible for implementation of individual project.

The Centre has released 478 crore rupees for providing connectivity to all Blocks/Tahsils/ District and State Headquarters under the “State Wide Area Network” (SWAN) scheme of Department of Information Technology. Individual projects/ proposals have been approved for 32 States / UTs. Implementation of SWAN has been completed in Chandigarh, Delhi, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, and Tamil Nadu.

Implementation of SWAN is in progress in the states of Assam, Chhattisgarh, Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Orissa, Manipur and Puducherry. The implementation is at an advanced stage in Bihar, Gujarat, Jharkhand, Kerala, Punjab, West Bengal, Sikkim, Tripura and Uttar Pradesh.

In Rajasthan, the Financial Bid is under evaluation, while the bid process has been initiated in Andhra Pradesh, Arunachal Pradesh, Meghalaya and Mizoram. Goa and Andaman and Nicobar Islands have already implemented Wide Area Networks outside the SWAN Scheme. The project proposal for Lakshadweep is under preparation.

Site identification and getting it ready for handing over to the Network Operators are the major challenges for operationalisation of the network. The limited penetration of Telecom Service Providers in remote locations and lack of reliable connectivity with appropriate bandwidth are problems in some of the States, especially in the North-East region.