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NMC Does Not Use Jio’s And Own Free Internet, Pays Lakhs For It

The Nagpur Municipal Corporation (NMC) is paying lakhs of rupees to other Internet service providers (ISPs) every month despite having its own free service available from Smart and Safe City project. It is going on for last over one year.

The state government, in association with the NMC, had sanctioned Rs 520 crore Smart and Safe City Project in 2016. Under the project, optical fibre cable of over 600km in length was laid across the city for CCTVs surveillance and WiFi service. In all, 889 WiFi access points were also established.

Smart City special purpose vehicle Nagpur Smart and Sustainable City Development Corporation Limited (NSSCDCL), a company owned equally by the government and NMC, had claimed internet from these WiFi points will be free for government to government use, citizen to government use and payable after some free usage for personal uses.

Accordingly, optical fibre cable was laid to NMC head office in Civil Lines and 10 zone offices too. WiFi modems were installed at all these offices. All these works were completed over a year ago.

Employees in various departments in NMC head office and 10 zone offices said all department except City Operation Centre from where CCTVs are monitored are not using free internet service available under the project.

NMC head office is having two connections— one of BSNL and other of a private local cable operator— for internet service. Some departments including the office of municipal commissioner have set up their own dongles from different ISPs.

The 10 zones are using local cable operator services. Property tax department at 10 zone offices is having its separate connection also from local cable operator.

NMC is also having a provision to get free internet from Reliance Jio Infocomm Limited for last four years. While giving permission to lay optical fibre cable across the city, NMC had made it mandatory for the company to provide free internet service to its head office and zone offices. NMC never asked for this free facility.

All the departments are passing the buck on each other. An official from NSSCDCL said, “We provided internet facility at all offices and were assuming all are using it. I will ensure they all use free service,” he said. Officials from Citizen Facility Centre and property tax department, which took two connections of other service providers, said they were not having any idea about free service from Smart City project and Reliance Jio.

Another official from hot mix department which made provisions of free internet service from Reliance Jio said Citizen Facility Centre did not respond to their letter asking them to go for the facility.―Times of India

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