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Advisors Skandan, Sharma review implementation of National Optical Fibre Network scheme

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SRINAGAR, JUNE 04: Advisors to Governor K Skandan and K K Sharma along with Chief Secretary BVR Subrahmanyam today chaired a meeting here to review the implementation of Union Government’s National Optical Fibre Network (NOFN) scheme which entails extending hi-speed internet facility to Gram Panchayats in the State.

The meeting was attended by Commissioner Secretary Power Development Department, Hirdesh Kumar, Secretary Rural Development Department and Panchayati Raj, Sheetal Nanda, MD, JKIT Infrastructure Corporation and MD SIDCO, Ravinder Kumar, Special Secretary Finance Department, Nazim Zai Khan, Special Secretary Industries and Commerce, Chief Engineer PDD, Qazi Hashmat, Project Manager, JaKeGA, IT Department, Irfan Rather and other concerned.

During the meeting, the Advisors and Chief Secretary deliberated upon the progress made on NOFN scheme, so far.

The Chief Secretary informed that the number of GPs to be covered in Phase-I through Optical Fibre Cabling (OFC) is 386 of which 281 are covered till date, while in Phase-II  around 1685 Gram Panchayats would be connected through VSAT.

It given out that the total number of GPs ready under Phase-II through VSAT is 289 while the number of GPs to be covered under Phase-II through OFC is 2415.

Addressing the meeting, Advisor Sharma mentioned that bandwidth requirements in the interim can be hired from the infrastructure of existing public and private telecom operators. The Advisor directed IT Department to examine the operation cost and agency for undertaking the Operation and Maintenance, while also estimating the capital costs of the project and also the hiring charges from the telecom operators for 3700 pending Point of Presence (POP).

The meeting after due deliberations asked the PDD department to consider exploring the feasibility of laying of OFC through their existing Infrastructure.

To enhance connectivity to all the GPs on a sustainable basis, JaKeGA, IT Department shall be considering options for hiring the OFC Services or owning the OFC Services that can be shared with all concerned departments.

On the occasion, Advisor Skandan said that the Internet facility for Gram Panchayats would have a positive impact on the State’s economic growth, besides it would provide faster, transparent and cost-effective governance to the people.

Need for the coordination among all the stakeholders to work out an appropriate mechanism for the timely execution of the digital backbone including the possible utilization of PDD infrastructure for the purpose was highlighted during the meeting.

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