Project to be implemented on public-pvt partnership model

Prakash Kamat

The initiative

The Government

has simultaneously undertaken backend computerisation of more than 30 departments.

The Government

has also initiated the process for having a single official portal aimed at offering all informative, interactive, transactional and collaborative services.

Panaji, Nov. 6

The Goa Government on Monday signed an agreement with Bangalore-based United Telecoms Ltd (UTL) for establishment of broadband network across the State.

The agreement was signed by Mr M.N. Rao, Director, Department of Information Technology, on behalf of the State Government and by Mr P. Raja Mohan Rao, President and CEO of UTL on behalf of the consortium of three organisations, namely, UTL, prime partner and UT Starcom India Telecom Pvt Ltd and RailTel as consortium partners. The Chief Minister, Mr Pratapsingh Rane, and the Information and Technology Minister, Mr Dayanand Narvekar, were present.

Mr Narvekar stated that the MoU envisages that charging citizens for various services was also one of the parameters. Based on the evaluation, the technology partner should not charge more than Rs 270 per month for providing intranet bandwidth and Rs 252 per month for providing Internet bandwidth.

Revenue sharing

On revenue-sharing arrangement, Mr Narvekar declared the agreement between the technology partner and the Government was that the Government will get revenue at the rate of 12 per cent of the gross turnover on this project as a share to the Government from first day of sixth year onwards of the 10-year period of the agreement.

"The objective is to create a high-bandwidth core network infrastructure connecting the whole State and the people through one high-speed network," declared Mr Narvekar.

"The project will be implemented on a public-private partnership model. The State Government will not invest upfront, instead UTL, the technology partner will invest upfront and will recover from the Government, citizens and business based on services offered," Mr Narvekar said.

"UTL would invest Rs 150 crore in the project," he said.

The process for the project was started in March by inviting expression of interest.

The Government has simultaneously undertaken backend computerisation of more than 30 departments through InfoTech Corporation of Goa Ltd, State-owned corporation under the Department of IT.

Services

Mr Narvekar said the Government's target was to put 24 citizen-centric services online by February.

The IT Director, Mr M.N. Rao, said, "Simultaneously, our efforts are on for the establishment of State Data Centre, in which all the software applications of various departments of State Government will be hosted."

The Government has also initiated the process for having a single official portal aimed at offering all informative, interactive, transactional and collaborative services of the Government to the citizens and business.

The Government will establish citizen service centres (CSCs) at every village panchayat level.

These CSCs will offer all Government to citizen services, said Mr Rao.

The services offered under this network are high-speed intranet, voice telephoning, cable TV, on-line healthcare, payment of bills, issue of certificates and 600 other services in all rural and urban areas, Mr Rao said.

The whole programme will be implemented in four phases.

In the first phase, cities of Panaji and Margao and all taluks will be taken up, while in the second phase, taluks to village panchayats and in phase three, households connectivity and in phase four wireless connectivity would be implemented.

(This article was published in the Business Line print edition dated November 7, 2006)
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