The Union Cabinet, chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, today accorded approval for revised implementation strategy of BharatNet through Public Private Partnership mode in 16 States of the country. BharatNet will now extend upto all inhabited villages beyond Gram Panchayats (GPs), in the said States. The revised strategy also includes creation, upgradation, operation, maintenance and utilization of BharatNet by the concessionaire who will be selected by a competitive international bidding process. The estimated maximum viability gap funding approved for the above PPP model is Rs. 19,041 crores.
The States covered under the Cabinet approval today are Kerala, Karnataka, Rajasthan, Himachal Pradesh, Punjab, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, West Bengal, Assam, Meghalaya, Manipur, Mizoram, Tripura, Nagaland and Arunachal Pradesh. An estimated 3.61 lakh villages including GPs will be covered.
The Cabinet also accorded in principle approval for extending BharatNet to cover all inhabited villages in the remaining States and UTs. Department of Telecommunication will separately workout the modalities for these remaining States/UTs.
The PPP Model will leverage Private Sector efficiency for operation, maintenance, utilization and revenue generation and is expected to result in faster roll out of BharatNet.