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State News

Jan 09, 2020

Ravi Shankar Prasad inaugurates works on laying of submarine cables between Chennai, Andaman Nicobar Islands

Union Minister for Communications, Electronics and Information Technology Ravi Shankar Prasad has said that the Union Government will ensure participation of the common people as  stakeholders in the digital transformation that is sweeping across the country. He was speaking after inauguration of the works on laying of submarine cables from Chennai to Andaman Nicobar Islands in Chennai today. 

Mr Ravi Shankar Prasad said, the Central Government has transferred funds worth eight lakh crore rupees under various heads to beneficiaries through the Direct Benefit Transfer system. He said, the DBT has helped the Centre to save about 1.40 lakh crore rupees by plugging the routes of pilferage. 

The Minister said, banking services will be delivered at the footsteps of the people even at far-flung areas using the vast network of Post Offices in the country combined with Information Technology. He observed that India has become one of the world's biggest electronics production hubs and a vast market for electronic goods. He said, 268 Mobile Phone Manufacturing Units are functioning in India now including Apple, providing employment to over 6.5 lakh people directly and indirectly. He said, out of the five trillion US  dollars of Indian economy that is being envisaged, the electronics industry alone will contribute to about one trillion dollars. 

The Minister said, Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited is a strategic asset for the nation, that stands by the people even during natural calamities like cyclones, floods and earthquakes. He said, all help will be provided by the Centre to make the BSNL and the Mahanagar Telephone Nigam Limited, the top-most players in the delivery of telecom services to the public.

Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad noted that the undersea cables linking Andaman and Nicobar Islands with the mainland would further strengthen the emotional bond with the islanders. He also said, similar submarine cables will be laid from Kochi to Lakshadweep Islands very soon. 

Lieutenant Governor of Andaman Nicobar Islands Admiral D K Joshi said, the submarine cable project would multiply the speed and reliability of data and voice telephone facilities manifold in the islands, resulting in a boost to its economy and life standards. He said, it will greatly improve the services and governance delivery and skill development, besides helping the defence forces immensely. He said, the project would yield long-term dividends for the public. He appreciated the help rendered by the State Government of Tamil Nadu for the project.

The submarine cables will be initially laid from Chennai to Port Blair covering a distance of 1,450 kilometres. Afterwards it will be extended to Rangat, Long Island, Swaraj Island, Hut Bay, Car Nicobar, Kamorta and Campbell Bay in the Union Territory, covering an additional distance of 800 kilometres. The works are expected to be completed by June this year. The cables are of four-fibre pairs, with the capacity to transfer 6.4 tera-bytes of data per second by each fibre-pair. At the initial stage of commissioning of the project itself, the islands can get a data speed of 400-gigabytes per second. 

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