Baramulla: Government owned telecommunication company Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL) has turned defunct in almost all the districts of north Kashmir incurring losses to the traders, whose business has been hit by non-availability of mobile and internet services.
BSNL services are not available in Baramulla, Kupwara and adjoining areas from last one month, which has badly affected the communication system in Handwara, Baramulla, Sangrama, Sopore, Pattan, Tangmarg and Gulmarg etc.
Some traders of Baramulla told Kashmir Reader that BSNL services have become a headache for them as the network is down frequently. “This incurs losses to us and our business is affected,” they said.
It is pertinent to mention that BSNL has thousands of customers for its postpaid and prepaid services in Kashmir but most of them are unsatisfied.
Ajaz Ahmad, a local trader said, “BSNL service is bad but from past many days it has only worsened. This is very unfortunate that despite the company being run by government, no efforts are made to improve the network.”
Tawqeer Ahmad, a businessman from Delina said, “Even though BSNL is laying the 4G cables across Baramulla but seems funny as even 2G and 3G services are not working properly. What is fun of launching 4G?”
Traders and hoteliers from Tangmarg and Gulmarg alleged that WiFi services of the BSNL remains down most of the time which irks the tourists staying here. Altaf Ahmed, a hotelier in Gulmarg said, “We attract tourists by offering WiFi services in hotels. But when it doesn’t work for days together, tourists blame us for no fault of ours. BSNL authorities should be made accountable for this problem.”
Showkat Ahmad Magray, who is running a Khidmat centre at Tangmarg said, “BSNL broadband remains down for days together and we suffer huge losses as we can’t work without internet. Due to faulty internet, one trader suffers loss of at least twenty thousand rupees per month”.
They alleged that Mobile phone connectivity is worst in the district. Internet services including broadband and mobile internet is also out of order, thus affecting banking and other business services. Same is the condition of landline phones. “BSNL authorities seem to be in slumber,” locals said.
Reports efforts by this reporter to get the official version of the BSNL failed as none from the organization responded to repeated calls. Officers also made themselves `unavailable’ when this reporter tried to meet them in their office.