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Probe ordered into functioning of rural call centre in Hosur

R. Arivanantham
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The centre, opened in 2007, is first of its type in the country

Krishnagiri District Collector C.N. Maheshwaran has ordered a probe into the functioning of the rural call centre here after receiving complaints about its state of affairs.

The CPI(M) had petitioned the District Collector in this regard. Mr. Maheshwaran said Hosur Sub Collector Sandeep Nanduri would conduct the probe.

The much hyped call centre was opened on October 30, 2007 by the then Local Administration and Panchayat Development Minister M.K. Stalin at Sanasandhiram in Chennathur panchayat.

The objective was to create job opportunities for educated rural youth. The Union Government had sanctioned Rs. 10 crore.

Initially the centre was set up with 25 work stations with a server room. Initially the funds for setting the up the unit was provided by the District Rural Development Agency.

For this purpose, a community hall in a dilapidated stage, was renovated and put to good use. During the inauguration of the Call Centre Santhosh Babu, the then District Collector, said that internet connectivity would be provided at village panchayats and it would help easy distribution of community and birth certificates at the doorsteps of people.

The district administration had constituted a society, FOSTeRA, including members from the Hosur Industrial Association (HIA) and Hosur Small and Tiny Industries Association (HOSTIA). The society was supposed to monitor the functioning of the centre.

Later, call centres were opened at Aalappatti, Uthangarai, Mittappalli and Manganurpatti. Of these, the Manganurpatti call centre is being run by a former teacher using his contacts in the U.S. and other foreign countries.

The Aalappatti and Uthangarai Centres were closed and the Mittappalli centre did not even take off. The former President A.P.J. Abdul Kalam had inaugurated a Virtual Contact Centre and Rural Business Hub of FOSTeRA on April 4, 2009.

When this correspondent visited the centre on Wednesday at around 7 a.m. no one except an attendant R. Dayalan was present there. He told The Hindu that about 22 employees were being given training, of these 18 are women.

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