Rajeev Chandrasekhar's official website - Member of Parliament

GOVERNMENT OF INDIA
Ministry of Communications and Information Technology
DEPARTMENT OF TELECOMMUNICATIONS

 RAJYASABHA
UNSTARRED QUESTION NO. 1451
ANSWERED ON DECEMBER 5, 2014

 QUESTION
Laying out of Cables for Digital India

 

1451. SHRI RAJEEV CHANDRASEKHAR: 

Will the Minister of COMMUNICATIONS AND INFORMATION TECHNOLOGYbe pleased to state; 

(a)   whether Government is aware that Bharat Broadband Network Limited hasstated that the deadlines set by Government for laying out cables for the "Digital India"initiative could be unachievable; 

(b)   if so, the reaction of Government thereto; 

(c)    whether Government is aware that National Optic Fibre Network (NOFN) isrunning five years behind schedule, leaving large areas of the country to still remaindisconnected; and 

(d)   the budgetary allocations for optic fibre cable laying? 

 

ANSWER
THE MINISTER OF COMMUNICATIONS AND INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY
(SHRI RAVI SHANKAR PRASAD)

 

(a): No, Sir. 

(b): Not Applicable in view of (a) above. 

(c): National Optical Fibre Network (NOFN) project was approved by Government on25.10.2011.A Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV) viz. Bharat Broadband Nigam Limited(BBNL) was incorporated on 25.02.2012 for execution of the NOFN project. Thefollowing difficulties were encountered in project implementation:

  1. Project is of a mega nature widely dispersed across the country and toreach fibre to the unreached areas, which are rural and remote. Surveywork to ascertain the total length of incremental OFC to be laid has beensignificantly completed and this has been a fairly time consuming processfor the 3 participating Central Public Sector Undertakings (CPSUs) viz.Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL), Raitel and Power GridCorporation of India Limited (PGCIL).
  2. Supply constraints with a given set of suppliers to meet the vast demandsof material requirement of large NOFN project.
  3. Constraints in timely availability of labour and contractors for trenchingand cable laying in different parts of the country given the high volume ofwork of NOFN at rates within reasonable limits of estimated rates.

The scheme to connect all the Gram Panchayats with respective blocks onOptical Fibre Cable (OFC) to facilitate broadband services is envisaged to be completedin a phased manner by December 2016. 

(d): Against an indicative cost of about Rs. 20,100 Crore of NOFN project, Rs. 2,010Crore has been released by Universal Service Obligation Fund (USOF) to BBNL foroptic-fibre cable laying as on 31.10.2014.