Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Bhubaneswar, Jun 2:
A month after the much-hyped closed user group (CUG) numbers to provide permanent contact numbers to each police station in Odisha’s Cuttack and Bhubaneswar for the convenience of the denizens, the system is in a shambles as more than half of the numbers provided to the personnel could not be reached.
This reporter went for a reality check on Monday and found this response from the other side: the number you have dialled is switched off, not reachable, error in connection and the number you have dialled is currently unavailable. Surprisingly, the numbers which were connected were not answered from the other side.
Yesterday evening this reporter got a weird response from one of the police stations. When he dialled a number, a woman staff picked up the phone and her voice was inaudible for some time may be due to network issues. The caller introduced himself as a media person and the official was in no mood to listen to him. After a while, she shot back and said, “I am your granny… your mom-in-law. Tell me what can I do for you?” The reporter hung up presuming it to be a wrong number. When he again redialled the number, the same woman staff received the call and her conversation was beyond comprehension after which he ended the call.
We dialled 23 numbers allotted to various police stations and the personnel who responeded are from: Capital PS, Mahila PS, Nayapalli, Jatani, Bailanta, Balipatana, Tamando, Chandaka, Info City and the Traffic police station at the AG Square in the city. The remaining officers at their specific numbers allotted to them could not be reached.
“We are managing with our old phones as nobody is calling on the CUG number,” an IIC said on condition of anonymity.
Another officer said, “How many phones we would carry? We haven’t bought new handset and moreover, who would pay the bills for the recharge?”
In a function held here, the Twin City Commissioner RP Sharma had inaugurated the ‘people-friendly’ measure in which specific numbers were allotted to senior police officials, including police commissioner, deputy police commissioner of Cuttack and Bhubaneswar and inspectors in-charge.
Notably, under this CUG plan, the number will remain unchanged and would be associated to the police station rather than the officer. Even in case of transfers, the number will remain the same.
CUG numbers provided by BSNL were allotted to 43 police stations functioning under the commissionerate police jurisdiction