The Maharashtra State Electricity Distribution Company Ltd (MSEDCL) has disconnected power supply to 15 telephone exchange centres and mobile towers of BSNL in Nashik district for not paying dues of over Rs3.5 crore.
A BSNL official said no electricity for exchanges and towers have affected over 3500 landline and broadband consumers. One of the affected telephone exchange centres is at Dwarka area of the city where close to 350 landline connections have been disrupted.
Other telephone exchange centres where power supply has been disconnected are located in Kalwan, Satana, Deola, Sinnar, Manmad and other parts of the district. Moreover, since many cell towers are not working, mobile connections have also been affected.
The BSNL is facing a cash crunch due to a substantial drop in its revenue during the current fiscal and the officials have blamed the government for its policy and no efforts to strengthen the state-owned telecommunication company.
The MSEDCL has given notices to the BSNL for not clearing the electricity dues. BSNL’s general manager (Nashik district) Nitin Mahajan confirmed the snapping of power supply for its 15 telephone exchange centres.
“We are facing a cash crunch and our revenue has also dropped. We are unable to make payments to the MSEDCL due to cash crunch, but we will make payment as we get revenue through monthly payments from the customers. We have just paid Rs1 crore to the MSEDCL for exchange centres having high tension lines following the notices,” Mahajan said.
“BSNL authorities have urged the MSEDCL to resume power supply considering the Lok Sabha elections and have assured them to make payments as per availability of the revenue,” the official said.
BSNL has over 1,000 officials and employees in Nashik district and they too are yet to get their salaries for the month of February. Last month, BSNL employees had gone on a three-day strike to press for their demands. Their major demands include allotment of 4G spectrum to the company.
“Last year, the union government had assured to allot 4G spectrum to BSNL, but the company is yet to get the spectrum even after a year. There is need to give effective services to consumers and BSNL needs 4G spectrum to compete private companies,” an office-bearer of the BSNL employees union said.
“Other private telecom companies are raising funds through loans even after having previous dues of crores of rupees. BSNL has comparatively lesser dues, but the government has denied approval to BSNL to raise funds through loans,” another official said.
Currently, BSNL has a total of 5.77 lakh customers across all verticals in Nashik district. Of this, 4.50 lakh are mobile customers while 92,000 are landline users and 35,000 are broadband customers.―Times Of India