Srinagar: The telephone rings. A middle- aged woman picks-up the receiver. “Hello, who is it? She enquiries. I amShahrukh Khan, can I talk to Kajol,” is the reply. “May Allah break your neck,” says the woman, and slams her receiver down. It is an anonymous caller, who bothers her again and again, till she takes the receiver off the hook and misses an important call.
She prays, “Can’t we have a facility that can trace-out such calls.” The prayers have been answered.
The days of anonymous callers are numbered as the Department of Telecommunications is likely to provide its Kashmiri subscribers the facility to trace-out the caller’s telephone number in the coming six months. This will end the agony of hundreds of subscribers who have been receiving anonymous calls the spurt in which began after telephone connections became common in Srinagar last year. Many subscribers were forced to surrender their telephones as anonymous calls began to swell in number.
Talking to Observer News Service the General Manager, Telecommunications Kashmir range, S. M. Talwar said that the facility would be provided to the subscribers in Kashmir in the coming six months.
However, Jammu region is likely to take lead once again in the field of telecommunications over Kashmir as the Department of Telecommunications has decided to start the “caller-identifier” facility in Jammu from March 31,1999.
Talwar, who has won laurels for his contributions to the field of telecommunications, said the delay in equipping Srinagar telephone exchanges with call-tracer facility is due to some technical deficiencies here.
He informed that before installing the “identifiers” the digital exchange at Srinagar needs some software modifications and upgradation. This has already been done in the digital exchanges of the winter capital.
‘To complete these upgradations,” Talwar said, my department needs a minimum period of six months.” He termed the delay in installing call-identifiers as unavoidable.”
The upgradation work of the exchange has been started and it may end before six months.
“One thing of which I am sure is that the valley subscribers will get the facility as soon as possible,” Talwar said, adding that his men are already on the job.
The move is likely to bring smiles to many faces in Kashmir as receiving an anonymous call has become a routine now. “It is a very good news to me,” said a Professor living in a posh Civil Lines quarter of Srinagar.
He said he keeps his receiver off the hook for the entire night as he and his family members have been receiving abusive calls from unidentified persons over the past three months. The facility will be a blessing,” his wife said.
The upgradation works at Jammu are already in progress and if sources are to be believed the call-tracer facility will be provided to the people of Jammu before March 31. While it is mandatory to upgrade the telephone exchange for the purpose, the subscribers will also have to buy the equipment that is to be fitted to their respective telephone apparatus.
(KASHMIR OBSERVER, 04 February, 1999)
Be Part of Quality Journalism
Quality journalism takes a lot of time, money and hard work to produce and despite all the hardships we still do it. Our reporters and editors are working overtime in Kashmir and beyond to cover what you care about, break big stories, and expose injustices that can change lives. Today more people are reading Kashmir Observer than ever, but only a handful are paying while advertising revenues are falling fast.