The BSNL Employees Union has alleged that the state-owned telecom operator has charted out a plan for selling off eight BSNL properties in prime locations of Chennai at throwaway prices. The list of identified properties released by the union includes the landmark 1.81 lakh sqft Telephone House on NSC Bose Road, besides land parcels in Kilpauk, Royapettah, Egmore and Ambattur.
In a statement, P Abhimanyu, general secretary of BSNL Employees Union, said the department of telecommunications is moving a cabinet note for the revival of the operator. One of the components envisaged in the revival package is to make BSNL a debt-free company through transfer of BSNL’s bank loans to a special purpose vehicle (SPV), he added. Noting that identified land parcels of BSNL will also be transferred to the SPV for being sold off to repay loans, he said, BSNL management has already finalised a list of 63 land parcels across the country.
According to Abhimanyu, these land parcels are grossly undervalued. “In the name of monetisation of land, BSNL’s lands are being transferred to the SPV at a throw-away price,” he charged.
For instance, he said, eight land parcels in Chennai are being transferred by BSNL to the SPV. While the total market value of these land parcels has been determined by the BSNL management at Rs 2,753.67 crore, he said the market value of the land parcels is estimated to be Rs 3,867.89 crores. In Chennai alone, the BSNL’s land parcels are being undervalued by more than Rs 1000 crore, he added.
When TOI attempted to contact BSNL’s Chennai Circle for their reaction, official did not respond to the queries regarding the allegations.
As per the details released by the union, the total area of the eight properties identified in different parts of the city was 34.67 lakh sqft. The land properties includes wireless stations and staff quarters. The largest land parcel measuring about 13.3 lakh sqft is on Tiruvottiyur High Road.
The statement further sought the intervention of telecom secretary over the issue for appropriate action to stop the move.—Times of India