Jharkhand's ambitious e-governance project 'Jharnet' has again come to be surrounded by thick clouds of controversy. This INR 100-crore project as per the agreement signed in 2005, Bangalore-based United Telecom Limited (UTL) was responsible for connecting and ensuring e-governance services in 212 blocks of the state. However, considering the problems of erratic power supply and unreliable Internet connectivity, the number was revised to 183 after UTL pleaded helplessness.
Hence, the moves to clear payments, was held up since UTL wasn't able to honour its commitment of e-connecting all 212 blocks of the state. Now, the state IT department has roped in Telecommunication Corporation of India Limited (TCIL) as a consultant and software major, Wipro, as a third party monitoring agency, both of whom would file final acceptability tests reports.
Based on their reports, a decision would be made to clear UTL's quarterly fee of INR 5 crore. This would amount to INR 20 crore in a year and INR 100 crore in the next five years, the total cost of the project to be executed under build, own, operate and transfer basis.