BSNL to float tenders for adding 4.5 crore new lines

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Shimla, Mar 24 (UNI) Public Sector Telecom Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL) will soon float tenders for adding 4.5 crore new phone lines, Union Minister of State for Communication and Information Technology Shakeel Ahmad today said.

Addressing mediapersons after review of performance of Himachal Circle of BSNL here, he said that the stay granted by court had delayed the process of adding more lines and now the BSNL was all set to take a big leap, covering up for the loss due to unavoidable delay.

He said that telecom industry was fastest growing industry in the country and its expansion had been phenomenal after the entry of private sector.

Mr Ahmed disclosed that all the panchayat headquarters in the country would have Community Service Centres having broadband internet facilities upto March 2009 and 1-lakh service centres would be opened to meet the target.

The union government would spend Rs 6000 crore on the project to connect one lakh odd Panchayats in the country with broadband internet facilities for speedy implementation of e-Governance in the country.

Describing cable cuttings and cable thefts as major problems faced by BSNL, Mr Shakeel said that it was hampering the efficiency and normal functioning of the department causing a big problem.

'Some miscreants with vested interests are doing so to hamper the progress of high flying telecom network of the country.

''At present, there is no law to deal with such miscreants and we have urged the police officials and chief secretaries of different states to deal with such miscreants with firm hand,'' he said.

The Minister informed that in order to bridge the communication divide, BSNL HP Circle has decided to provide broadband services at 400 new stations by March 2009 and decided to open five new post offices in the state by March 31, 2008.

He said all tehsil and district headquarters had been covered by BSNL mobile services and the work was in progress to cover all villages having population more than 1000 under mobile services.

He also criticized previous NDA union government for ignoring the Post Department by not making any financial provisions for new post offices and filling vacant posts of various categories in the department.


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