J&K Gram panchayats to go hi-tech, get high-speed optical fibre connectivity

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All 4,468 Gram Panchayats (GPs) in Jammu and Kashmir would get high-speed optical fibre connectivity, state Chief Secretary BVR Subrahmanyam said here Thursday, though he did not give a deadline for completing the project.

“There are 4,468 GPs in 6,553 villages across the state. The number of GPs to be covered in Phase-I through optical fibre cabling is 368, and 281 of them are covered till date,” Subrahmanyan said.

He said 4,100 GPs would be connected in Phase-II.

He was briefing a meeting chaired by Union Telecom Secretary Aruna Sundararajan.

A senior official later said the tendering process for the second phase has started though no timeline has been decided for completion of the project.

The meeting was convened to review the work of extending high-speed internet connectivity to Gram Panchayats in the state and the steps required for augmentation of the already existing infrastructure, an official spokesman said.

The meeting was informed that as per the survey completed in August 2018 of the 6,553 villages, 749 were yet to get mobile connectivity. This included sparsely populated areas.

The spokesman said improving telecom connectivity to the gram panchayats, border areas and the Ladakh region was discussed threadbare.

He said the Union Secretary sought details on the challenges faced by the telecommunication service executing agencies and directed that the state government constitute a team to identify village in every GPs for installation of fibre cables for better connectivity.

She said the centre would also form a team that will work in close coordination with the state nodal team to resolve the issues regarding the installation of fibre cables.

Sundararajan stressed on formulating a telecommunication friendly policy to address the core issues regarding Right of Work (ROW), installation of towers, fibre, clearance issues, besides improving connectivity to the border areas, tourist destinations, near water bodies and uncovered area in the state.

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