The current phase of Project Arrow will feature the upgrade of 80 post offices to international standards soon, Union Minister of State for Communication and Information Technology Sachin Pilot said on Tuesday.

Addressing a review meeting of officials from the Department of Posts, IT, BSNL and the NIC here, Mr. Pilot said while 1,000 post offices across the country have already been upgraded, the current phase is targeting the modernisation of 383 post offices nation-wide.

The upgraded post offices would offer services such as electronic and instant money orders and financial products including bank accounts and postal life insurance.

The Minister urged employees of the over 12,000 post offices in the State to set higher standards of service.

On the way forward for BSNL, Mr. Pilot said the ambitious expansion plan would be pursued to net more mobile subscribers and deliver mobile services to the remotest locations. The BSNL Tamil Nadu Circle and Chennai Telephones have already added over 23 lakh subscribers to take the aggregate user base to 74 lakh mobile users, of which 14 lakh are in Chennai.

The State telecom infrastructure had been augmented with the establishment of 2,200 Base Transceiver Stations across the State since March 2010. BSNL had also launched 3G services in 52 areas, he said.

Mr. Pilot advocated an incentive-linked marketing push to increase broadband penetration. The BSNL is also focused on delivering broadband services to rural areas through WIMAX technology.

The Minister said quality of landline, mobile and broadband services would be constantly and closely monitored.

On e-governance initiatives, Mr. Pilot said the State Wide area Network is being developed with an aid of Rs.97.17 crore from the Department of IT, Government of India. Another Rs.55.8 crore has been earmarked for setting up a State Data Centre.

Of the 5,440 Common Service Centres (CSC) proposed in the State at a total cost of Rs.43.14 crore, 3,952 CSCs had already been rolled out and started offering utilities, Mr. Pilot said.