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 Maharashtra Telecom services- Bringing modernity to rural areas 

The telephone network in the rural areas of Maharashtra is being expanded and made sustainable to enhance the development of the Information Technology sector in the state. Chief General Manager of Maharashtra Telecom Circle, H Sundaresan told that the telecom circle has envisaged a programme to set up Internet kiosks in every taluka in the state and there are also plans to introduce mobile phone services in the whole of Maharashtra.

``Maharashtra Telecom Services has embarked on a major project to ensure that every single taluka in the state has easy access to the Internet. Rural as well as urban areas in Maharashtra are being extensively covered under this programme. We are also examining plans to bring mobile phone services to every district in the state. Mobile phone services will help in a big way in the economic development and progress of the districts. It will help the state to move quickly in the direction of e-governance,''said Sundaresan..

Maharashtra chief minister Vilasrao Deshmukh's thrust on promoting e-governance in Maharashtra, has given a major boost to the Maharashtra Telecom Circle's efforts to spread out its network to every corner of the state. Maharashtra Telecom circle has successfully launched telecom corporations in the rural belts in Western Maharashtra and parts of Marathwada and Vidarbha region .

On November 14, 2000, Deshmukh released the CD-ROM telephone directory for Maharashtra (excluding Mumbai) and Goa. At the release function in Mumbai, Deshmukh patted the backs of the Maharashtra Telecom Circle for maintaining the top position in the country, in expanding telecom services network. He exhorted the Telecom Circle authorities to use sophisticated fiber optic technologies and other similar advanced technologies in the state. He also urged them to ensure that rural telecom exchanges function without any major breakdowns and problems.

By: Mani D'Mello
Photographs: Uma Kadam