Published On: Tue, Sep 27th, 2016

BSNL should connect 1 lakh Gram Panchayats with broadband connectivity at the earliest: Manoj Sinha

s2016092789946New Delhi: The Telecom Minister Shri Manoj Sinha today gave a stern message to BSNL that he will not tolerate any delay and the Telecom PSU should connect one lakh Gram Panchayats (GPs) through Optical Fibre Cable (OFC) to set up a network infrastructure to serve the rural masses. He said, all are working with zeal to achieve the target of connecting 2.5 lakh Gram Panchayats with Broadband Network within stipulated timeframe, which is the vision of the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi for Digital India. Speaking at an award ceremony function of BSNL here, Shri Sinha said, those who are working with zeal should be rewarded and those should take VRS from where reports of negative growth is coming on a continuous basis.

The Minister urged the BSNL to find new invention, new research and new technology and to give World Class products for achieving Prime Minister’s vision of Transforming India through Digital Revolution. He said that there is need for innovation as India cannot afford to emulate the Developed Economies due to limited resources. He said, if India will lag in catching up with emerging technologies, the very existence of the country will be at stake. He exhorted the officials and other stakeholders to “Walk the Talk” and underlined that it is our bounden duty to digitally empower the huge chunk of population particularly in rural areas who are still deprived of IT revolution.

Shri Sinha asked BSNL officers and employees to set an ambitious target of 15 percent Telecom penetration within a time frame from the existing 10.4 percent and asked the PSU to any competition head on and compete with other big Telecom Operators as BSNL is now equipped with new technology, dedicated work force, equipment and financial resources. He also expressed concern that despite the worldwide trend, the number of land line connections in India is decreasing every day and BSNL should think seriously about this issue.

He said, unless the BSNL will not improve its service quality, Plan-49 or Plan-II-49 will not succeed to have connection at Rs 49. BSNL through the above two plans have made call free on Sunday and from 9.00 pm to 7 am each day and the Telco PSU is also providing Broadband connectivity at cheaper rates. He also asked BSNL to resolve all the complaints promptly and any reluctance on this front will not be tolerated.

Shri Sinha said that the Country is on the verge of Data Revolution, and if India will lag behind on this front, history will not forgive us. He said, it is easy to befool through jugglery of data and facts, but ultimately work should be seen to have been done.

Speaking on the occasion, Secretary, Telecom Shri J.S.Deepak said that it is a matter of pride that since April, 2015, BSNL has come to operating profit it is gaining market share on a regular basis but it should work hard to become the global giant. Referring to connectivity initiatives in North East, Left Wing Extremist areas, where 2200 towers were installed for better connectivity for the security forces and for the rural masses living in the remotest areas, Shri Deepak said that in the 2nd phase 2,000 additional towers will be installed in the naxal-hit areas. He also called for performance audit of the PSU from time to time.

In his address, the CMD of BSNL Shri Anupam Srivastav said that the revenue of BSNL IN 2015-16 was Rs 28,450 crore, which is 4.4 percent more than the revenue in the year 2014-15. He assured the Minister that BSNL is ready to compete tariff to tariff with any Telecom Operator and also called for collaborative efforts where the country’s interest is involved.

Shri Srivastav said that due to paucity of instruments and equipment from 2006-2012, BSNL missed the voice bus, but in the last two years several initiatives were taken and BSNL is ready for any challenge. He informed that in the last two years 26,000 mobile towers were installed and in this financial year 20,000 additional towers will be installed.

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