50,000 more villages to get public phones

August 26th, 2008 - 8:15 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, Aug 26 (IANS) An additional 50,000 villages will be provided public telephones, the government announced here Tuesday. Of India’s 594,000 villages, 550,000 have telephone connections already.The Department of Telecom (DoT) will sign a contract with the state-owned telecom operator Bharat Sanchar Nigam Ltd (BSNL) for this purpose, an official statement said.

Currently, 550,000 Indian villages have telephone connections through either satellite technology or conventional lines, while 30,500 villages have broadband cover, the government had said Monday.

The latest initiative targets new villages named in the 2001 census as well as those with population of less than 100 or which were excluded earlier.

The government is already implementing a scheme to provide subsidised public telephone facility to 66,822 uncovered villages under the Bharat Nirman Programme, which aims at providing subsidised public telephone facility in rural India.

Over 92 percent rural connectivity has been provided by BSNL.

The DoT provided connections to about 54,700 villages through the Village Public Telephones (VPTs) mission under the Bharat Nirman Programme.

The remaining VPTs will be provided by the end of this year, it added.

The maximum numbers of villages covered under the scheme are in Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan.

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