BSNL launches project to connect NE

BSNL has launched an ambitious programme to improve connectivity in rural and tribal areas of the northeast with the Centre planning to reach out to the rural population for effective governance through Common Service Centres (CSCs).

About 1300 CSCs are to be established in the region and work for connectivity to these, informed Chief General Manager Telecom (CGMT), NE-1 Circle, DP Singh.

The NE-1 Circle, comprising Meghalaya, Mizoram and Tripura, is “always striving hard” to improve the telecom scenario in the region, Singh said. He added that while meeting sales target set by BSNL, growth in many new thrust areas have also been achieved.

“During 2012-13, about 1.7 lakh GSM mobile connections were provided and 57 towers installed and commissioned, which has enhanced the capacity of 1 lakh lines and improved coverage to cater to the needs of the public in rural and remote areas,” the CGM said.

“Phase-VII project for augmenting mobile capacity by 3 lakh with 468 Base Transceiver Station (BTS) tentatively is planned to be rolled out in the financial year 2013-14. There is considerable progress in rolling out wireless broadband, WiMAX services,” he said.

Arrangements are being made to provide 9312 broadband connections for which 81 new broadband equipment are under various stages of commissioning, he said. He added that 45 internet broadband-enabled kiosks have also been provided.

Singh said 103.36 km of optical fibre cable (OFC) route has been laid for connectivity to all the three states together. The CGM said a telecom plan for the N-E region has been worked out, which would involve Rs 10,000 crore in the first phase of implementation.

Singh said a project has been launched to provide broadband connectivity to all government schools in Meghalaya. “The project is being monitored by the Union human resource development ministry,” he said.

The CGM further said that NE-1 Circle has shown that profits can be made even in these “grave economic times”. He added that the overall revenue for NE-1 for the last financial year 2011-12 stood at Rs 204.85 crore and this year the revenue has increased to Rs 213.96 crore and expenditure has come down for 2012-13 by Rs 2.9 crore.