February 02, 2007

PTA To Establish 400 Telecentres In Rural Areas

Islamabad:   To provide latest telecommunications and internet facilities in rural and far-off areas, Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) has launched a Telecenter project called â??Rabta Gharâ? all across the country. Under the scheme, 400 Telecenters will be established in the first phase for which the equipment worth Rs. 50,000/- each will be provided free of cost. Applications have been invited from eligible candidates.  

These Telecenters will be provided to those individuals who are unemployed with at least intermediate qualification. They will arrange a shop or room of the size of 10x12 ft (minimum). Females of rural areas fulfilling the criteria may also apply.

Individuals from those villages/Union Councils will be considered for â??Rabta Gharâ? where the population is 4,000 to 10,000 and no public telephone or Net cafÃ?© facility in the radius of 5km is available. In case of Balochistan, applications can also be forwarded at Tehsil level. If more than one application is received from an area, the most suitable applicant will be selected.     

In the 1st Phase of the Project, PTA with the support of telecom operators, will establish 400 â??Rabta Gharâ? all over the country. Telecom operators have pledged their support to PTA for setting up these â??Rabta Gharâ? including PTCL (100), Mobilink (100), Ufone (50), Instaphone (15), Intel (10), Worldcall (Payphones in all Rabta Markaz) while PTA will be sponsoring 125 â??Rabta Gharâ? bringing the total to 400.

PTA has also arranged free delivery, installation and training of the â??Rabta Gharâ? equipment on the premises/location of the selected individuals by Intel through its Genuine Intel Dealers (GIDs). PTA has prepared training CD/manual for the selected â??Rabta Gharâ? owners and the GIDs will provide the basic necessary training to them.

Applications can be submitted on the prescribed application forms through mail before February 15, 2007 to Deputy Director (Rural Cell), PTA H/Qs Building, F-5/1, Islamabad. PTAâ??s Zonal Offices will verify the details provided in the application forms and after proper verification the list of selected individuals will be displayed on PTAâ??s website. In addition, PTA Zonal Office will notify the selected individuals. Further information can be obtained from Telephone Nos. PH: 051-9225329-31 Ext: 147 or email address: rabtaghar@pta.gov.pk .

It may be added that a â??Rabta Gharâ? (Telecenter) is a small business setup that provides PCO, Internet, Fax, Printing and Scanning services to small communities. A â??Rabta Gharâ? owner can earn approximately Rs. 5,000/- per month.


(Khurram Ali Mehran)

(Khurram Ali Mehran)