Already, 2000 such kiosks have been set up in the Hoogly district. The rest will come up in the next six months.
Labelled “Community Service Centres”, the kiosks will be run by local youths, who will charge the users a nominal amount.
Two CSCs will come up in each gram panchayat, of which one will be situated in the panchayat office. The rest will be located in centrally-located markets for easy access.
The CSCs are to be provided with the latest computers, digital cameras and solar power back-up. “They can even download government forms from these centres and access the government portals,” said Navin Prakash, special secretary, IT department, in the sidelines of the Converging World 2008, an international exhibition on converging technologies.
The entrepreneurs who run the centres will have to pay a rent to Srei-Reliance.
The project is a scheme of the Panchayat and Rural Development Department under the National e-Governance Programme and is being implemented by the state IT department.
Essentially a PPP model, the infrastructure for the centres will be set up by the private partners.
Reliance has been given charge of developing these centres in four districts of the state, while the SREI is slated to develop these CSCs in the 14 other districts.
The CSCs have been designed with the aim of helping people in rural West Bengal avail the benefits of online services in health, medicine, education and government-related affairs and sustain the rural economy by providing income to several Village Level Entrepreneurs.
The Village Level Entrepreneurs can earn a minimum profit of Rs 3000 per month.