Puducherry to go Wi-fi

In an ambitious attempt to make Puducherry a hi-tech city, the territorial government will soon roll out a proposal to make the entire town a Wi-Fi zone.The government hopes that the initiative would bring in more visitors to Puducherry, a former French enclave.The government has proposed to introduce the facility in the boulevard regions comprising the old French and Tamil colonies in the town limits and later gradually extend the project to other parts of the territory, PWD minister M O H F Shajahan said. “Our plan is to get Puducherry declared a digital town. The tourists visiting the territory and the residents will have wifi access in the boulevard limits. We are confident that the initiative will boost tourism and will get good patronage from all sections of Puducherry residents,” he said. Shajahan, who maintained that the digital city project is in the embryonic stage, said the government as a first step would launch e-governance facility in the territory in another three to four months. “A world renowned consultant PriceWaterhouse Cooper has submitted a request for the proposal of launching egovernance facility in the territory. The government too on its part has started creating a state wide area network (SWAN) and sought the technical expertise of the National Informatics Centre (NIC) for this,” he said. The territorial administration has also begun ‘back-end computerization’ of all government departments besides extending training to officials. “Similarly, a data centre will be created and citizen service centres will be established within the town limits that will furnish basic information about the major landmarks in the territory to the tourists and also involve residents in e-governance initiatives and enable to utilize various services of the government,” he said.The minister maintained that if the e-governance project materialises the transfer of information and files from one department to another would be very fast and transparent. “The objective is very clear. Our government aspires to become a paperless administration,” he said. Secretary (information technology) D C Sahoo said the administration provided adequate number of computers to all departments and the computerization process was in fullswing. He revealed that the territorial government had sent the proposal submitted by the Prize Waterhouse Cooper to the central government for approval. Sahoo said digital mapping of the territory would be undertaken soon using the Geographical Information System and once things crystallised as per plans, the residents could avail themselves of all major services. “People can pay utility bills (electricity, water and telephone bills et al) besides paying tax (for properties and vehicles) and can also seek information of properties, its location and air their grievances through the citizen service centres.”

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