Shimla, Jun 1
High speed and uninterrupted Internet services is playing an important role in the times of Covid pandemic however there is poor connectivity in rural areas and an inadequate bandwidth in the state, pertaining which a PIL was moved in the high court.
The instant PIL petition by counsel Vandana Misra against the State of Himachal Pradesh and others for enhancing internet services was listed for hearing on Monday.
The division bench of Justice Tarlok Singh Chauhan and Justice Chander Bhushan Barowalia directed the respondent Union of India to file response regarding the follow-up action taken pursuant to improve rural internet connectivity and connect all gram panchayats in the state with high speed optical fibres under Bharat Net program.
Court in the four page order passed on May 31 asked the Centre to respond about the
roadmap prepared for the implementation of programmes set-out by them on the next date of hearing on June 4.
PIL highlights the plight of the residents of the State, more particularly, the residents of the rural and backward areas of the State, in wake of poor Internet net connectivity and rural telephony.
Petitioner stated that importance of access to Internet services has assumed great importance on account of Covid-19 pandemic. The need of the hour is to provide adequate bandwidth, network attached storage and routers etc. to facilitate the conduct of educational courses, conferences, court proceedings etc. on virtual platform.
PIL said that Union govt had formulated a new telecom policy in the year 1994 aimed at giving highest priority to the development of telecom services in the Country.
Under this policy various guidelines like streamlining the provisions of right of way to telecom service licensees and also to the infrastructure providers were laid down.
These mobile guidelines were formulated, keeping in view the object of creating a robust telecommunication infrastructure with adequate bandwidth at affordable rates and in order to promote Development and Proliferation of Information Technology, Electronic Governance, E-Commerce, convergence of Information, Communication and Entertainment sectors so as to improve the state of economy, enhance the quality of life of the citizens and to ensure development of urban and rural areas with equity throughout the Country.