Reported by SantoshJagdev
Bhubaneswar, May 14:
Thousands of Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL) subscribers in the Odisha capital are angry and upset over having with dead telephones and non-existent broadband services since Sunday.
The reason: the all important 288 fibre cable was severed during digging by power utility CESU near Indira Gandhi Park here.
Disrupted telephone and internet services have led to a ripple effect on several other important services as well. Those used to recharging their mobile phones and DTH services, or transferring money online from home are now having to take time off their schedule and venture out in the scorching summer to get these services.
Even the simple pleasure of buying a movie ticket is now not available to those who have the great misfortune of being BSNL subscribers.
Link failure due to disrupted BSNL broadband services has also led to severe disruption of banking services, both in banks and at ATM counters.
Subash, a local businessman, faced a problem that he could have hardly bargained for. “I needed to withdraw some money urgently and went to the ATM counter near Forest Park, only to find that there was no link. I had to rush to Ram Mandir Square to get the cash,” he said.
BSNL consumers in Pokhariput, Baramunda, BJB Nagar, Suryanagar, Forest Park, Kalpana, Jagamara, LIC Colony and some areas near Raj Bhavan have been frantically calling up the customer care centres to find out what exactly is the problem, but all that BSNL has to offer by way of an answer to their queries is blame shifting.
While the Chief General Manager, BSNL-Telecom Narendra Kumar Bhoi did not bother responding to OST’s calls, an engineer in the public sector behemoth, who did not want to be named, sought to lay all the blame on the doors of CESU.
“Though CESU was given permission to dig at the place, they should have done it with a comprehensive chat plan drawn up in consultation with BSNL officials. They never bothered seeking the assistance of our officials or even contacting them to ensure that they do not snap the cables accidentally during the digging ,” the engineer said.
“Despite a diagram of the place given to them, they failed to ensure that the optical fibre cables were not damaged,” he added.
As the engineer himself admitted readily, this was not the first time such a thing has happened in Bhubaneswar. Apart from CESU, he also blamed Reliance Telecom for being a habitual offender in this regard, causing losses worth crores every year. Asked why nothing is being done to put an end to this recurring phenomenon, the engineer, in the best traditions of blame shifting, attributed the failure to ‘higher-ups’.
The question is : what action has the BSNL taken against CESU for the big damage it has caused to its services ? None, if our sources are right.
While the BSNL may have the financial muscle to take such ‘minor’ losses in its stride, the fact that it has not been able to fix the problem even three full days after it surfaced, suggests that it is not bothered overmuch about the harrowing experience of thousands of people, who have been foolish enough to be loyal consumers of the ‘national’ telecom service provider.
BSNL is now telling its customers that the problem will be fixed by Thursday. If it is hoping that this would bring succour to its harassed consumers, it clearly does not have any idea about the extent of anger in them over this gross apathy.