The Economic Times: February, 2014
Patna: If you have an internet-enabled device and you are anywhere on the stretch from NIT-Patna on Ashok Rajpath to Danapur, you can now access the internet free of cost.
Once known as a backward state, Bihar has made a strong bid for a mention on the world's infotech map as chief minister Nitish Kumar unveiled the 20km free Wi-Fi zone, the longest across the globe, at a function christened e-Bihar summit in Patna on Wednesday. Kumar also unveiled a 'city surveillance and dial 100' scheme under which at least 100 CCTV cameras installed in different localities of the state capital became operational. A state data centre has also been opened for storing of the 'data' collected by these cameras.
Speaking on the occasion, CM Kumar announced an IT City would be developed on a 200-acre plot at Rajgir. He also said the government has in principle approved an infotech building on a plot of one lakh sq ft and another on a plot of 5 lakh sq ft in Patna. Besides, an infotech park is coming up on the outskirts of the city.
Kumar asked the information technology department officials to hold roadshows in select cities across the country to spread awareness about the progress made by Bihar in the field of information technology. "Our state should now be the IT industry's fave destination," he said.
The state's free Wi-Fi zone is the longest in the world since China's 3.5km zone was treated as the longest so far. The 'city surveillance and dial 100' project is first of its kind in the country as it integrates the surveillance of the city, vehicle tracking and dial 100 control centre schemes. An automated number plate recognition system has been installed on 11 roads, which will automatically note the registration number of the vehicles entering and exiting the city. "It was with this surveillance system's help that the Patna police rescued the son of a city-based trader from Ara within 24 hours of his kidnapping recently," CM Kumar said.
IT minister Shahid Ali Khan said free Wi-Fi facility would be provided at all the tourist spots in the state. Principal secretary (IT) N K Sinha said Bihar might be a late entrant to this sector but "we are on the cusp of IT revolution". Nasscom president R Chandrashekhar and Beltron MD Atul Sinha were among those who also spoke at the e-Bihar event.