India faces power shortage: BSNL Chairman

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Kochi, Apr 16 (UNI) BSNL Chairman and Managing Director Kuldeep Goyal today said India has to overcome numerous hurdles, including power problem, to register a rural teledensity of 20 per cent in 2010.

Talking to mediapersons here, Mr Goyal, who was here to attend the second 'Connecting rural Communities Asia Forum,' said ''though the country was the fastest growing telcom market in the world with an addition of eight to nine million telephone connections per month, telecom connectivity in rural areas, which has a current teledensity of eight per cent, faced a slew of problems.'' He said the main problem was the non-availability of uninterrupted electricity in the rural areas as power in these areas was available only for four to six hours.

The Centre was taking steps to use alternative sources of energy like solar power and wind energy to power the instruments used for telecom connectivity, he said.

Mr Goyal said lack of proper distribution chains for telecom related products and affordability for these products were other challenges in rural connectivity.

As per the plans of the Centre to establish one lakh community service centres in telecom in villages across the country, BSNL woill be enabling 25,000 wired centres and as many wireless centres by the end of 2008.

BSNL has provided 5,19,616 village panchayat telephones out of total inhabited villages using landline, WLL and mobile technologies, he said.

BSNL, in collaboration with Postal Department, has launched an innovative scheme, Gramin Sanchar Sewak Scheme, whereby nearly 2,686 postmen will carry WLL handsets covering almost 11,894 villages offer telecom services at doorsteps, he added.

UNI MA DS AK GC1803

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