Srinagar- If you are a subscriber to BSNL broadband in Srinagar and it stops working as a result of some fault, it is most likely you will get no one from the BSNL to set it right, no matter how many complaints you register online, no matter how many officials you beseech for help and no matter how much monthly tariff you pay the telecom company for the service.
The BSNL in Srinagar is just not interested in its subscribers.
This is what its subscribers in the city are learning to their detriment. On June 2, Riyaz Ahmad, a subscriber from Umar Colony Wanbal, found his broadband was not working. He says he contacted local lineman who didn't turn up despite promising to do so. Later he registered three online complaints, still nobody came. He rung up senior officials in the department, who all promised to send the lineman, none still came.
"It has been frustrating experience. I run up a monthly bill of Rs 1200-1500 but here my broadband is not working for the past eight days. I have moved from pillar to post but no one has come to repair the fault," says Ahmad. "It is as if the company wants to tell you it doesn't want subscribers, so that none of its employees has to work".
Ahmad added the local linemen he talked to said it was not their responsibility and passed on the buck to other colleagues who in turn passed it back. "One of them Abdur Raheem who would come in past also refused to come," Ahmad said.
Naseer Ahmad is another subscriber from Alnoor Colony Hyderpora with a similar story. "I have filed four online complaints and and have called the local lineman time and again" says Naseer."But none has come nor do I hope anyone will".
Naseer has been without broadband for seven days.
Both subscribers say they are waiting for the jiofibre service to start in their areas to give up their BSNL connection. "It is a horror to be a BSNL subscriber. The company just doesn't want you as its subscriber," says Naseer. "They would rather charge for the service they would not like to give".
“My landline and broadband is not working since the services were resorted in Kashmir,” said Syed Shabir Hussain of Hassanabad Rainawari area of Srinagar.
"I contacted the local lineman who said that your telephone pair is defunct. Then I went to Soura exchange where I was told that you have to disconnect the connection as we can't repair it," said Hussain.
When contacted Public Relation Officer, BSNL Kashmir, Masood Balla told Kashmir Observer that the department lacks manpower after the Voluntary Retirement Scheme (VRS).
"BSNL had over 2 lakh employees all over India out of which one lakh took the VRS recently. In Srinagar we have over 500 employees working out of which over 300 took the VRS," he said.
Balla added following the retirement of many employees, BSNL outsourced the operations in Srinagar to three contractors, but they are I'll equipped.
"Unfortunately, they were unable to deliver because they don't have skilled persons to handle the job, as a result we have witnessed a lot of complaints," Balla added.
According to him BSNL has over 50,000 landline connections in Srinagar city out of which 21000 have broadband connections.
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