Government sets target of launching free Wi-Fi by March next year

The Asian Age.

Metros, Delhi

Free Wi-Fi at public places across the city was one of Aam Aadmi Party’s key poll promises.

Deputy CM Manish Sisodia

New Delhi: Free Wi-Fi facility at public places in the national capital may soon be a reality as the Public Works Department has set a target of launching the pilot project for the same on March 31 next year.

According to the Delhi government’s “outcome budget”, under which various departments set target for executing their schemes and projects, tenders for providing free Wi-Fi facility will be awarded by September this year. Free Wi-Fi at public places across the city was one of AAP’s key poll promises.

In March this year, deputy CM Manish Sisodia had said that Wi-Fi project, which was earlier with the information and technology department, has been given to the PWD to “expedite” the work.

However in the “risk factor column” in the outcome budget, the PWD said that in the meeting on March 27 this year, the department had intimated that the it will not be able to execute Wi-Fi project due to “non-availability of sufficient staff” and “no expertise” in this field.

The department said the expected date for issue of request for proposals (RFP) is June 30, 2018. It also said that expected date for “commissioning of Wi-Fi hotspots at pilot stage” is March 31, 2019.

In its 2018-19 Budget, the Delhi government has all-ocated Rs 100 crore to provide Wi-Fi facility, even though the government did not mention a timeline for the completion of the project. In February this year, CM Arvind Kejriwal had said that the AAP government was working on three to four models for implementing the project.