TCIL (Telecommunications Consultants India Limited) has connected 873 gram panchayats in Andhra Pradesh (AP) and work is in progress for another 878 gram panchayats.
Till date, TCIL has laid 4,044 Km of OFC and plans are to lay another 20,008 Km in due course of time. The company has also resumed BharatNet Phase II implementation work in all 5 districts of Andhra Pradesh starting 26th April, 2020.
In addition to laying down 4,044 Km of OFC, Fibre Asset Management System has been supplied and installed at the data centre. 4,180 Km of fibre and its associated equipment (pole accessories, JEs, FDMS, racks and new poles) has been supplied. This will ensure that the supply chain is not disrupted and every effort has been made to minimize possible delays.
An additional scope will be laying the fibre in the aerial path using existing electrical poles, which will need the involvement of various agencies and may pose some challenges.
Major infrastructure projects across the country have been delayed by at least five to six months due to the ongoing COVID-19 crisis, hampering government efforts to provide connectivity to rural India. Rural connectivity is a top agenda of the Government of India and the state and TCIL as its implementing partner has been under a lot of pressure due to COVID-19 lockdown.
The APSFL (Andhra Pradesh State Fibernet Limited) is a state owned enterprise set up for the implementation of BharatNet Phase – II through three packages over 13 districts of Andhra Pradesh.
TCIL had bagged Package A covering 5 districts at a total cost of Rs. 479.29 crore, with a Capex of Rs. 380.58 crore and Opex of Rs. 98.71 crore. The MSA was signed on 8th January, 2019 and the scheduled end date for completion of installation & commissioning of the project is 7th July, 2020. The work involves establishing optical fibre network infrastructure using 24F ADSS cable in 5 districts of Guntur, Krishna, Kurnool, Prakasam and West Godavari Districts.
Speaking on BharatNet project, Rajiv Gupta, Director – Projects, TCIL said, “Rural connectivity is the backbone of the country and in times of serious global crisis such as the one the world is facing today, when everything is going massively digital, we have a moral duty towards completion of this project.”
Leading the project on the ground, Kamendra Kumar, Director – Technical, TCIL said, “The TCIL South zone team has got back on the project without any delay. We have received full support from APSFL and are hopeful to complete the project without undue lag.”
Despite many challenges and fears rising out of COVID-19, TCIL resumed work in April, laying down 4,044 Km of Optical Fibre Cable providing end to end connectivity to approximately 850 gram panchayats.
“It is a massive project and we will provide the building blocks for connecting a total of 4,809 gram panchayats covering 265 blocks in these 5 districts,” added Kumar.