The project for providing broadband connectivity to one lakh Panchayats in the country through NOFN will not be fulfilled by 2014-15 as declared earlier. There has been much delay in implementing the project. Universal Service Obligation Fund (USOF), which is funding the project which is to be implemented by BSNL, Railtel and Powergrid , has informed the Communications Minister that only 50,000 Panchayats can be covered during the period as most of the cable-laying , trenching and ducting work is incomplete.
This raises important questions. Whether it is the BSNL etc. which is delaying the matter or whether there is delay in sanctioning the funds by USOF or whether there are problems in the tenders, or whether there is no co-ordination between BSNL, Railtel and Powergrid etc. But one thing is clear. Neither the DOT, USOF, BSNL or others connected with the project have not taken the matter seriously. There may be some delay but the fact that only 50% can be completed during the period is completely unacceptable.