Haridwar, Jan 3: As part of Modi government's ambitious project of "Digital India", the holy city Haridwar got free Wi-Fi access at Har-ki-Pauri ghats.
Devotees converging on the banks of Ganga river at Har ki Pauri in Haridwar got free wi-fi facility on the New Year eve. First 15 minutes of the Wqi-Fi use will be free of cost but, after that, one needs to do instant recharge, depeding upon requirement.
"With the move, spiritual people will be able to witness live Ganga 'aarti' from any part of the world through Wi-Fi", Sri Ganga Sabha Puroshotam Sharma Gandhiwadi was quoted as saying.
The government-owned BSNL has provided the Wi-Fi facility at the ghats and an official said that according to the pilgrims' response, the facility will be extended to other ghats of Haridwar and to Rishikesh.
Ramesh Kumar, BSNL Assistant General Manager, on Monday, Jan 4, said, "the service which has been operationalised at the popular Har-Ki-Pairi ghat will help devotees share their experience related to the vast religious gathering with their near and dear ones through the internet."
Launched in collaboration with Trimax on Saturday, the free wi-fi facility can be availed by devotees at Har Ki Pauri throughout the four-month event scheduled to conclude in April and also after that, he said.
Consumers will have to turn on the wi-fi mode on their device and choose the state-run BSNL besides having their mobile phone registered to access it, the official said.
BJP Rajya Sabha MP from Uttarakhand Tarun Vijay had said in August 2015, "The decision has been taken in recognition of the fact that devotees from across the country and abroad turn up at Har Ki Pauri for a holy dip in the river on important religious occasions."
For the convenience of pilgrims, the promise was fulfilled on the auspicious ocassion when Ardhkumbh mela began in Haridwar.
Four-month-long Ardhkumbh mela is touted as the largest religious congregation on earth, with around 7 crore people set to take the holy bath during the mela.
The first bath of the great religious congregation is slated for January 14 on the occasion of Makara Sankranti. The holy bath will take place till April. The last bath will be on April 22.
Around 5 crore to 7 crore people from across the world are expected to attend the holy bath.