Even after the chief minister Omar Abdullah in open expressing concern over the erratic BSNL services, the cellular provider continues to take its subscribers for a ride with the services continue to remain hit till date.
People from various areas are all up in arms against the services being provided to them by BSNL- complaining that network congestion and repeated call drops are adding their woes at large.
The scenes at Srinagar’s BSNL office on Monday were turbulent as well with the subscribers accusing that their numbers were blocked due to the bill payments despite the state Governor declaring that people won’t be charged for the month of September as the services were badly hit for more than a half month. The BSNL post paid users whose numbers were blocked sans any intimation told KNS that they have been duly charged for the September month with the office in clear times asking them that services would not be restored till the September bills are not paid.
Subscribers said that when they complained before the BSNL authorities over the issue, the reply was saddening and ‘shameful’. “They (BSNL officials) told us that until September bills are not paid, the services would not be restored. Unless they receive a written order over waiving off of the September bills, nothing on ground could be done,” said one of the BSNL user- waiting in queue to pay his due bills.
People from various areas alleged that the BSNL authorities have indulged in the ‘autocratic policies’ wherein quality services to the subscribers are not being taken into the account. They said that besides mobile services, the landlines in scores of areas are yet to be restored with broadband services continue to remain badly hit.
On Monday, people complain that throughout the day, the services of BSNL remained crippled- giving tough time to the users. “On one hand they charge us more than other cellular operators and on the other- the services remind users of decades old connectivity wherein phones seldom connect. I can only say that if it cannot improve its services, BSNL should pack its bags from Kashmir so that people could be relived from its erratic network,” said Tariq Ahmad Khan, a north Kashmir resident.
Interestingly, the chief minister Omar Abdullah in the recent past said that his own official BSNL number is still out of service and in secretariat, only two landline connections are working. Taking a strong exception to the dismal performance exhibited by BSNL, particularly during the devastating floods, chief minister Omar Abdullah in an interview observed that BSNL has maligned the image and prestige of central government in the state.
Taking a dig at snail’s pace measures taken by BSNL in restoration of the lost connectivity, Omar in brief chat with KNS said that had the state government undergone the restoration measures like that of the BSNL, the state would have been still submerged under the water. “This is the only major central office representing the central government in state and its dismal performance during the floods has put a question mark on its mandate,” he said.
The chief minister claimed further that his own official BSNL number might be still out of order, making him to ask for phone from his subordinates to make a phone call. “Even in secretariat the phones are not working. I have to either remain present in civil secretariat or at Hari Niwas so that to remain connected.”
Pertinently, when the devastating floods created havoc and the mobile telecommunications was the most needed service to inquire about the whereabouts of near and dear ones, most of the operators especially the state owned BSNL remained completely out of gear, adding to the miseries of helpless people. Even near a month has passed since theses floods ravaged the state, BSNL is still performing at a snail’s pace with its landline, broadband and cell phone networks remaining abysmally disturbed.