Bhubaneswar: Odisha has set a target to cover 100% Gram Panchyats (GPs) with high speed internet connectivity by April, 2021.

This was decided in State Level Implementation Committee held under the chairmanship of chief secretary Asit Tripathy over digital mode from Lokseba Bhawan Tuesday wherein secretary electronics and telecommunication (E & IT) Manoj Kumar Mishra outlined the administrative, technical and financial issues for discussion.

Reviewing the progress made so far, chief secretary directed to expedite implementation of Phase-II Bhrat Net programme and provide connectivity to all GPs by April, 2021.

Tripathy said, “ The digital infrastructure will be an enabler of growth and development in the State”. Road map was set to give phase wise connection to the GPs and complete the entire process by coming April.

The chief secretary also directed to give Wi-Fi connectivity at main activity points of the GPs. All government offices including the schools, medicals and banks can also access the connectivity.

Development commissioner Suresh Chandra Mohapatra advised to put in place a definite proactive system for regular maintenance and upkeep of the infrastructure including the cables for ensuring uninterrupted connectivity.

It was decided that each GP would have five connection points for utilization by development institutions and government offices. The main commercial place of the GP would get Wi-Fi connection. The telemedicine centers, schools and agriculture kiosks would be connected for facilitating health care, e-learning and profitable agri-commerce.

Secretary E & IT Mishra appraised, “So far 22, 541 kms of optical fiber cable has been laid against the target of 27,610 Kms. The balance of 5069 kms will be completed soon”. Similarly as of now, 4651 GPs and 230 blocks have been provided the connectivity. Rest blocks and GPs will be linked up in phases. The ground level action plan for commissioning of connectivity at all GPs was discussed in the meeting.

The discussions in the meeting showed that OCAC under the department of E & IT is emerging as the chief bandwidth provider in remote areas of the State.

Secretary IT Mishra said, “This infrastructure will bring all the GPs within the scope of SWAN network. Besides, its dark fibers can be hired to the telecom and internet service providers on commercial basis”. It was decided to formulate a SPV involving the departments like Energy, E & IT and Panchayati Raj for productive utilization of the digital infrastructure created in the State.

Principal secretary energy N.B. Dhal, principal secretary home Sanjeeb Chopra, principal secretary Panchayati Raj Deo Ranjan Kumar Singh, principal secretary finance Ashok Kumar Meena, special secretary IT Manoj Patnaik along with senior officers of OCAC, OPTCL and concerned departments participated in the discussions.