The ancient ghats of Varanasi along the river Ganga - Sheetla and Dashashwamedh - were linked to wi-fi internet connectivity Sunday. The first-of-its-kind initiative was inaugurated by the Union Telecom Minister Ravi Shanker Prasad, officials said while adding that the wi-fi facility would be available to the people at Rs.70 for the entire day, Rs.50 for two hours, Rs.30 for one hour and Rs.20 for 30 minutes.
The project was mooted by BSNL after Prime Minister Narendra Modi was elected as the MP from Varanasi last year, sources said, and the Prime Minister's Office (PMO), soon after the approval of Modi, began monitoring the project as a "priority one".
After kickstarting the wi-fi facility at the two ghats, the minister also announced that the facility would be extended to the other ghats - Rajendra Prasad, Man Mandir, Manikarnika, Tripurabhairavi, Lalita and Meer ghat - by the end of March this year.
He added that under the 'Digital India' mission of the prime minister, e-health, e-education and e-commerce facilities would soon be made available to villages across India.
In the next three months, the union minister announced, the Konark temple (Odisha), Khajuraho (Madhya Pradesh), Taj Mahal and Fatehpur Sikri (Uttar Pradesh), and Mahabalipuram and Hamphi in Karnataka would be made wi-fi enabled religious tourism spots.