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11,000 free Wi-Fi hotspots across Delhi soon: Arvind Kejriwal

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11,000 free Wi-Fi hotspots across Delhi soon: Arvind Kejriwal

The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) government will create 11,000 hotspots across the city to provide free internet through Wi-Fi, a major poll promise, Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal said on Thursday.

After the completion of the installation, which the CM said will begin in three months, a registered user will be able to avail free 15 GB of 200 mbps internet per month using the facility.

A 2015 manifesto promise of AAP, the project which missed several deadlines, is now set to roll out months before the Delhi Assembly Polls scheduled in February 2020.

Of the 11,000 WiFi hotspots, 4,000 will be at bus-stops, while the remaining 7,000 across various spots in 70 Assembly segments of the Capital, Kejriwal said. Each hotspot will be able to serve as many as 200 users at a time.

"This is the first phase of this project. This will be the largest free Wi-Fi project anywhere in the world. Once we complete the first phase, we will collate the learning from the experience and make provisions for additional hotspots if necessary in the next phase. The WiFi hotspots will be installed within the next 3 to 4 months," said Kejriwal, after approving the proposal in the Cabinet meeting that he chaired.

No major city in India has more than 10,000 hotspots. Kolkata, for example, has free WiFi in 149 wards in the city. Bengaluru, the first city in India to have free WiFi hotspots which is however limited to three hours a day or up to 50 MB data.

In response to the question on how significant was the project when mobile phone internet was easily affordable, the CM said, "The thing is, it's still something that the youths ask me about."PWD Minister, Satyendar Jain said that the project the capital investment in setting up the infrastructure will be made by the vendor.

"But the government will bear the operating cost of approximately Rs 100 crore per annum for providing 15 GB free WiFi per month for all users.," he said.

Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal also announced the Cabinet's approval for the installation of 1.4 lakh additional CCTV cameras in the residential areas of Delhi. This, he said, was apart from the 1.4 lakh cameras already being installed.

"The public response about these CCTV cameras has been overwhelmingly positive. These cameras have already started helping local authorities nab thieves and miscreants. We have approved the purchase of 1.4 lakh more CCTV cameras. This means each assembly will now have 4,000 cameras and Delhi will have 2.8 lakh cameras," he said.