FROM A CORRESPONDENT
SILCHAR, Aug 3: Is Silchar BSNL which also covers Dima Hasao district giving space to private service providers? This question is now making rounds in public across Barak Valley as the subscribers are feeling the pinch of rickety services by BSNL. For the last few days, there has been serious deterioration in all sorts of connections from landline to mobile and internet, causing deep resentment among the users. The frequent and oft-repeated refrains heard by the subscribers of landline and mobile are ‘out of reach’, ‘it is busy, ring up after sometime’.
Often, the caller hears the ringtones, but the receiver remains unresponsive, a very puzzling phenomenon. Broadband services are equally in a doldrums. The connections beep, but cannot connect the other end. Uploading and downloading of files, even of minimum KB, take long time and also does not operate, creating lot of inconveniences for the users. Internet users in particular are most inconvenienced and often have to lose their patience.
The media houses of the three districts of Cachar, Karimganj and Hailakandi are worst hit. E-mail of news, photographs and other related information is badly affected. It has been found that the reporters use their dongles of private service providers to supplement the deficiencies of BSNL. As Nilotpal Choudhury, executive director, the Jugasankha group of newspapers, said more in anguish that if BSNL services continue to nose-dive, what worth its existence. If subscribers cannot get services, why should they pay for the bills, he asked?
Dr. Abhijit Mukherjee, who like everyone has to depend upon his mobile services, finds it difficult to attend to the call of his patients who misunderstand him for his unresponsiveness. It is a piquant situation for him. For many, BSNL with its imposing establishment here, has become a white elephant. Many have begun to ask what for BSNL exists to burn public exchequer. According to an insider, BSNL has incurred till now a huge loss of Rs.9000 crore and the figure is increasing.
It is to be recollected that BSNL as a service provider ranked first in north east. With its gradual and systematic decline in services, it now has slid down to the bottom place. Airtel now reigns supreme followed by Reliance and Aircel. Questions are also being heard in public, whether BSNL is playing into the hands of private service providers or is there interl sabotage by a section of staff to cripple its services for their own vested interests? Who knows? Only a high level and independent inquiry can unravel the reality.