COMMUNICATION BAN : BSNL issues 20,000 new SIMD cards

SRINAGAR: In wake of current unrest in Valley, the Government of India owned Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL) has issued more than twenty thousand new post paid connections to the visibly frustrated subscribers who are unable to avail the services of private cellular companies currently.

Almost all the private cellular companies have become defunct these days in Valley as the government has snapped their services. The government has restored only the incoming call facilities of pre-paid subscribers availing the services of private cellular companies.

BSNL General Manager Muhamamd Saleem Beigh told CNS that from past two weeks they have provided more than 20,000 SIM cards to the subscribers and most of them have been activated. “Our billing counters are busy settling accounts of the customers most of whom want to reactivate their connections. No SIM cards are available with us at present. New SIM cards are arriving from Jammu within one or two days,” he said.

A BSNL official on condition of anonymity said that they were issuing new postpaid connections to customers but their higher-ups directed them not to issue more SIMs.“We have been asked to provide postpaid SIM cards only to police, media and some other government departments, while modifying prepaid cards too has been bared,” he said.

   The customers alleged that they are being charged extra money for filling up the forms. “Some pay Rs 500 while others are asked to pay Rs 600. Customers are ready to pay as they are hapless,” said a subscriber.

   Such complaints were also reported from South Kashmir’s Pulwama district where customers alleged that BSNL authorities force them to pay Rs 600 in advance for a SIM card. In Sumbal area of Bandipora district customers are paying Rs 1000. “The BSNL employees have been taking undue advantage of the current situation and loot customers at will,” said Nazir Ahmed a customer.

Reports from Budgam said that private cellular company Aircel has also been looting customers while converting their prepaid connections to post piad ones. “The cellular companies have been exploiting the government ban on communication network and are demanding heavy security deposit from them,” said a customer.

Meanwhile, customers at Nihalpora Pattan staged a protest against BSNL alleging that from past two weeks the Nigam Exchange in the area is defunct as a result they are unable to avail the postpaid services. (CNS)  


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