Puri, July 9: Ahead of Lord Jagannath's Nabakalebara Rath Yatra, Wifi service of BSNL was launched in Puri today, with the Centre announcing plan to extend the facility in all major tourist spots in the country.
"All tourist destinations and major pilgrim centres will be provided with Wifi facilities very soon," Union Communications and IT Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said while launching the Wifi service in the pilgrim town which is set to witness the car festival on July 18.
The Union Minister said BSNL would invest Rs 830 crore to substantially improve services in Odisha and half of that amount would be spent on broadband network during the current financial year.
Stating that the Centre has plans to set up 818 mobile towers across the country, Prasad said so far work for 194 towers had already been completed.
ALso read: Delhi govt sets aside Rs 50 crore for wi-fi
"This will enable the mobile users to get much better service as clarity in the network will improve substantially," he said.
Maintaining that Narendra Modi government accords top priority to the recently launched digital India project, the Union Minister said 2.5 lakh panchayats would be connected through optical fiber, Prasad said.
Digital India initiative would go a long way in benefitting the poor people and villagers, Prasad said the drive was party neutral and centre-state neutral and aimed at strengthening unity through technology.
Stating that the country now had around 98 crore mobile phone and 30 crore internet users, the Union Minister said the government targets to raise the number of internet users to 50 crore in next two years.
Highlighting the importance of manufacturing electronics items in the country, Prasad said the government had received proposals worth about Rs 65,000 crore in the sector.
Union Petroleum Minister Dharmendra Pradhan, who was also present, said the Sun Temple complex at Konark had already been connected with Wifi.