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Gujarat Narmada Valley Fertilisers & Chemicals Limited (GNFC) township, Gujarat owned company’s township at Bharuch, which has a population of around 5000 and floating population of around 10000, has become 100% cashless and probably the first such township in India. It was being declared by Gujarat chief minister Vijay Rupani on 13th February. “I congratulate all the residents of this township for taking this revolutionary step, which will surely encourage around 180 other such townships in the country to follow the suit and turn cashless. This initiative will help in fulfilling the dream of Digital India. More townships should go digital,” said Rupani in his address.
The township has facilities like a big shopping centre, restaurants, eateries, schools and colleges, hospital, stadium, guest house, etc. All the shops in the GNFC township, which include paan shops, laundries, vegetable shops, barber shops, provision stores, cycle repairing shops, flour mills, conduct their business only through cashless transactions using PoS machines, e-wallets like BHIM, UPI, SBI Buddy, etc. Even a paan is purchased cashless and a cup of tea is also available cashless only. This has been done after a sustained mass campaign and engagement of all stakeholders in training of digital transactions, establishment of required infrastructure and necessary business process engineering by the top GNFC management. The National Institution for Transforming India, NITI Ayog has declared GNFC township as ‘Cashless Role Model Township’, which inspires other corporate to follow. Around 10,000 people will be benefited by the initiative, said Rajiv Gupta, managing director GNFC.
There are few other examples as well which prove that India is moving towards Digitization. Recently, Daman and Diu, the tiny Union Territory along the Arabian Sea coast, introduced free Wi-Fi services in the Union Territory and 3,500GB data was used by over 32,000 tourists and local people during the last 45 days. This initiative was appreciated by the public as it will help in promoting the government’s initiative of Digital India and e-transactions. Apart from this, India’s first ‘digital village’ is located in Gujarat’s Sabarkantha district called Akodara. Despite the chaos demonetization has brought to rest of the country this village has been functioning normally as neither shops nor citizens of the village deal in cash. Going digital has also helped the village with better education facilities. The Gujarat government has decided to replicate the GNFC model in 180 integrated townships across the state with a total population of over 5 lakh.