Monday, May 19, 2008

Burdwan(WB) becomes the first e-governed panchayat in India

Burdwan district in West Bengal has become the first district in India to have all its gram panchayat connected via broadband for communicating with district and taluk headquarters.

Burdwan has now all gram panchayats talking to each other, discussing issues common to all panchayats and local problems, etc. Burdwan district has 78% literacy (as per 2001 census). This is going to ensure that the benefits of e-governance will reach the masses.

While inaugurating the multi-crore project, the State Minister for Information Technology Debes Das stated that the new set up has connected all the 277 gram panchayats, 31 blocks, six sub-divisions of the district with its headquarters. Through this network, all panchayats can send and receive data, voice and video. The network is expected to help daily administrative work, locally and at the state-level. The project is an expansion of the existing State Wide Area Network (SWAN), a Union government initiative under National e-Governance plan (NeGP).

According to the reports,

The multi-point connectivity between the panchayats and the respective block-offices has been achieved using wireless data transfer technology that facilitated the completion of the project, Das said.

While the Webel ISP— a project of the West Bengal Electronics Industry Development Corporation Limite— has installed this infrastructure for the wireless transmission, a Kolkata-based company has provided the software for the video conferencing purpose.

“The software used in the project is independent of the computer operating system. Also, additional connections would not require readjustment of bandwidth. This makes the project cost effective,” Das said.

Imagine if all Gram Panchayats go this way, then this grass root revolution will reduce corruption in the country to a very great extent. This is what precisely both Mahatma Gandhi and Rajiv Gandhi dreamt of.

This will happen because when AP and Karnataka started e-governance, it triggered a revolution in Maharashtra, Kerala and Gujarat. Now, one success story will spread - villages spread faster than cities. In India, both good and bad news spread like wildfire.

This e-governance will reduce corruption to negligible levels.


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