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|September 3, 1997||
Villagers to decide on location of their public phonesThe streamlining of procedures currently underway to install public telephones and STD/ISD booths in villages, envisions effective devolution of responsibility to the district and village levels through zilla parishads and gram panchayats.
Union Minister for Communications Beni Prasad Verma has outlined the policy to the members of the Consultative Committee on Communications at a recent meeting. Under the new procedure, the location of public telephones in villages will be decided by the gram sabha, the village panchayat and the village council through a resolution adopted by them.
In case of delay by panchayats in finalising the location, the issue will be taken up at the district level by the zilla parishad.
Verma informed the members that MPs, MLAs and other elected public representatives will be involved in deciding the allotment of village telephones and PCOs. The list of applicants for PCOs would henceforth be prepared exchange-wise and not city-wise, he added.
The minister said the scheme of allotment of STD/PCOs is restricted to educated, unemployed persons, charitable institutions and hospitals.
- Compiled from the Indian media
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