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Chief Secretary, Dr. Arun Kumar Mehta Wednesday chaired the meeting of the UT Broadband Committee to review the implementation of National Broadband Mission in Jammu & Kashmir.

Administrative Secretaries of the Forest and Information Technology Department, along with officers from LSA, Department of Telecom, GoI, and BSNL participated in the meeting.

The meeting was informed that the National Broadband Mission (NBM) is fast tracking the growth of digital communication infrastructure to bridge the digital divide and facilitate digital empowerment and inclusion, while focussing on affordable and universal access of broadband.

It was further informed that the Mission aims to connect all villages to the broadband network by 2022, with only 100 such villages left in Jammu and Kashmir. The Chief Secretary asked the Department of Telecommunications to reconcile the data on unconnected villages with the concerned Deputy Commissioners and by referring to the village maps already uploaded on land records portal of the Union territory Government to ensure that all unconnected villages are brought on the digital network by the end of this financial year.

Moreover, to facilitate universal and equitable access to broadband services, a Universal Service Obligation Fund (USOF) agreement has been signed to provide mobile coverage in 88 uncovered villages in the Union territory. Dr. Mehta directed early resolution of all pending issues for expeditious coverage of these far-flung areas and asked the Power Development Department to provide reliable electricity supply to the concerned IT installations.

The Chief Secretary directed the district administrations to review the district-level progress achieved under the National Broadband Mission and resolving the pending RoW issues/cases on regular basis—(KNO)

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