Anantnag: The BSNL exchange in Dooru area of Anantnag remains defunct amid the lockdown rendering the helpline numbers of all essential services defunct much to the inconvenience of people.
The residents say that the exchange did not work properly earlier as well but since the last 40 days now it is completely defunct. As a result, several hundred landline telephones are dead in the area.
The residents, Kashmir Reader talked to, said that while they manage other things through mobile phones the real problem faced is that the helpline numbers of essential services are down.
Hospitals, Police Control Room, Fire and Emergency Services, Municipal offices, the Power Development Department and the Public Health Engineering area some of the services that have been rendered defunct.
“There are medical emergencies and the people mostly do not have mobile numbers of the hospital staff. All they have got is helpline number.” Masroor Ahmad, a local told Kashmir Reader.
A few days ago there was a fire incident in Kapran area of Dooru and the locals were not able to contact the fire and emergency services in Dooru or the local Police Control Room.
“We called the Police Control Room in Anantnag then who contacted the fire and emergency headquarters in Anantnag. The Anantnag people then contacted the employees of fire services here on their mobile phones,” locals in Kapran area told Kashmir Reader.
They complain that a damage caused by the fire could have been saved had the helpline number in Dooru been working.
The locals now have to walk to the respective offices to register their complaints in case they need the services.
“Amid the lockdown it becomes almost impossible to do so. The power supply to my house got snapped and I had to actually walk 3 kilometers to get a complaint registered. Now I have taken their mobile number but what about others?” a resident told Kashmir Reader.
BSNL Sub-Divisional Engineer (SDE), Peer Bilal Ahmad, acknowledged that there is a snag at the exchange and the fact that it has rendered all essential services numbers defunct.
“Some equipment has been damaged and could not be procured due to the lockdown,” Ahmad told Kashmir Reader. He remained non-committal about fixing the issue.