AP to sport 8000 IT kiosks by end 2005

CIOL Bureau
New Update

HYDERABAD: Giving a major boost to citizen-centric services, the Andhra Pradesh government has finalized bidders for the proposed 8000 IT kiosks to be set up in the next six months.

The project titled 'RAJiv' (Rajiv Internet Village) is planned to be implemented in two phases. While the first phase is supposed to cover 6000 panchayats, the second phase is expected to cover the rest of 15,587 panchayats.

Giving details, eSeva commissioner PM Kuriakose said, "Initially, we planned to set up 6000 kiosks covering villages with a population of less than 5000. But since we have around 8000 such villages, we want to set up kiosks in all the 8000 villages that will include the 6000 panchayats."

He further informed, “We have finalized two bidders for this project-a consortium formed in the name of Bharat Electronics Ltd (BAL) will set up 5500 kiosks and the other bidder TIMES will set up 3000 kiosks. An agreement between TIMES and eSeva has already being signed while we are yet to sign an agreement with BAL. We will be doing so by the end of this week.”

According to Kuriakose, as the traffic increases with the implementation of the government's broadband project, and more number of transactions being processed, there would not be any connectivity problems and at the same time the data transfer rates would be high.

He also explained that to avoid cross-connectivity between various service providers like eSeva, APOnline, independent departments, etc., the government has deployed Unifiex-a unified gateway-on a trial-and-error basis.

“We intend to provide basic transaction-based services through these rural kiosks initially and later extend majority of the B2C services,” said Kuriakose.

Having started with nine centers in the year 2001, eSeva has 230 centers across the state with 46 centers operating alone in the twin cities of Hyderabad and Secunderabad. Kuriakose explais, “In the year 2004 we have recorded an yearly average of 300 lakh transactions and we are hoping to record about 350 lakh transactions this year.”