BSNL suffers Rs 400 cr loss, 6,000 connection still down in Kashmir


The Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL) has suffered a loss of over Rs 400 crore in September floods when all communication network, including landlines, mobiles and broadband came to halt after dozens of exchanges, including headquarters in the civil lines were submerged under more than 10 feet to 15 feet water.
The department is now taking a number of steps to atleast provide some connectivity in case such a situation arise in future, General Manager BSNL D K Agarwal said. He admitted that entire communication system of the BSNL came to halt after the flood water entered the main parent exchange at Exchange Road on September 7 afternoon.
He said the department suffered a loss of Rs 400 crore in the floods. We are now replacing the machinery which has been imported from outside.
Since our entire system was damaged in the first flood at main parent exchange we could not save anything, he said. As all the system, including main mobile networking, broadband and WLL were working from parent exchange, we could not do anything, he said, adding but after two days we started a satellite link at Barzulla exchange in the uptown which was not affected by the flood.    Dozens of other exchanges, including Gogjibagh , Dalgate, Karan Nagar and Pampore, besides parent exchange became defunct and as a result other exchanges were affected.
He said, “We could enter Dalgate exchange only after 20 days and Rajbagh exchange after a month because of water.” He said a mobile tower was immediately restored in Barzulla area through satellite after hard work by engineers and other employees who reached there through several feet flood water.
Mr Agarwal said the process of restoration continued and by now the department was able to restore majority of over 4,500 mobile towers in the valley.
He said out of total 99 exchanges in the valley, 97 are now functional. However, two others, including at Gogjibagh, which were affected the most in the floods, will take some more days to operate. The civil work has been done and we will soon install machinery, he added.
The BSNL General Manager said the department has opened two more exchanges in the civil secretariat and headquarters of 15 Corps in Badami  Bagh Cantonment area. The entire system of broadband was also badly affected due to flood. We have by now restored 10,000 broadband connections out of 16,000, he said, adding the rest will be made functional within next two weeks.    However, he said, 50 per cent of total 3G connections are still down.
He said, “Now we have taken some measures to at least provide some connectivity to people, in case of such a situation in future.”
“We have installed a system each at Hariparbat hill, Barzulla and main exchange at Lal Chowk,” he said, adding these will remain function in case of floods in future. Mr Agarwal announced that no billing will be charged for landline, mobile and broadband from customers for the month of September when our system remained down because of flood. He said if anyone has paid the bill, it will be readjusted in the next months. (UNI)


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