Public Wi-Fi zone project at ISBT ‘stuck’ as IT, transport departments spar

The users can avail at least 20 minutes of free internet usage at ISBT-43. Thereafter, they will have to pay to avail of the service.

Written by Vinod Kumar | Chandigarh | Updated: September 11, 2016 6:19 am
Free wifi zone, free wifi zone chandigarh, chandigarh wifi zones, UT transport and information technology, information technology, Inter state bus terminus, bsnl, chandigarh news, india news BSNL WIFI installed at ISBT sector 43 Chandigarh. (Source: Express photo)

DIFFERENCES BETWEEN the UT transport and information technology departments over setting up of the first public WI-FI zone at Inter-State Bus Terminal in Sector 43 (ISBT-43) has cast a shadow over the much publicised project.

The IT department, in association with Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL), the government-owned telecommunication company, had installed some equipment at ISBT-43 in July. The system could not be made operational as the transport department raised certain objections. The transport department expressed its displeasure over the decision of IT department to go ahead with the project without keeping them in the loop and taking mandatory approvals.

Putting its foot down, the transport department wrote to the IT department informing that the system cannot be made operational until all the mandatory clearances are not taken. They also sought details of the project.

Amit Talwar, director transport, said that no approval was taken and they were not kept in the loop. “ISBT is being managed by the transport department and the transport department doesn’t have any project details,” said Talwar.

Talwar said they had now asked BSNL to provide them the details about the tariff plans and other specification. “BSNL is now carrying out a field study and will submit its report,” informed Talwar. Based on the report, the fate of the project will be decided.

Jatinder Yadav, who recently took over the charge of director, IT department, said that system was installed before he took over. He added that there were some issues and communication was exchanged between the two departments. “The project will now be executed by the transport department,” said Yadav.

About the project

As per the proposal, users will be able to avail themselves of the Wi-Fi service in a radius of at least 100m with the minimum bandwidth of 2Mbps on any Wi-Fi enabled devices such as laptops, cellphones and tablets. The users can avail at least 20 minutes of free Internet usage at ISBT-43.

Thereafter they will have to pay for availing the service. After 20 minutes, the user will be required to re-authenticate to access the wireless network by buying voucher/internet pack online.

Under the smart city project, the administration plans to provide Wi-Fi hot spots for free internet access for a limited time period in public spaces. Currently free Wi-Fi is not available in public spaces.