10 tele-centres to be set up by mid-July

Kathmandu, January 27:

The High-Level Commission for Information Technology (HLCIT) is preparing to establish at least 10 rural tele-centres at different parts of the country within this fiscal year.

The government has allocated Rs 3.5 million for the establishment of five rural tele-centres but decline in prices of computer parts and change in the policy of the HLCIT has encouraged the commission to establish at least 10 tele-centres.

“If the local communities do not feel that they are the owners of the tele-centres, the project cannot be sustainable,” said Jeevan Prakash Sitaula, under secretary at the HLCIT, citing the experience of the previous tele-centres.

“Therefore, we have decided to make the communities invest a part of the total budget necessary for the establishment of a tele-centre,” he said.

Sitaula said the allocated budget would be utilized to establish some 15 tele-centres as the commission has saved some money from the last years’ budget and it is sufficient to establish some three tele-centres. He said the commission has received 25 applications from different parts of the country. Member secretary of HLCIT Dr Madan Pariyar said the commission has already finalised three locations for establishment of tele-centres and works are on for two others.

The commission has already completed the feasibility and technical study of the three sites. Within next two months five tele-centres would be established for which the commission has already published tender to buy machines. Three places fixed for the establishment of tele-centres are Muglin of Chitwan, Judibela of Rautahat and Charikot of Dolakha district.

Sitaula said the government has planned to establish 1,500 rural tele-centres at different parts of the nation within the completion of the ongoing Tenth Five year plan but only 30 centres have been established so far. He said the HLCIT could not initiate for establishment of more tele-centres due to the lack of budget and also because the adverse political environment.