No respite from poor mobile connectivity
Over a fortnight on there’s no respite from poor mobile connectivity in Kashmir, particularly the summer capital were thousands are still unable to know each other’s welfare since the day floods triggered havoc. The network again worsened on Sunday in the City hampering relief and rescue operations.
The subscribers have accused the telcos of taking the people for a ride. “The role of telcos has been worst in this hour of grief when phone connectivity could provide succor,” people have been saying.
This is despite the fact that Chief Minister Omer Abdullah has been repeatedly asking the telcos to improve the services as the poor connectivity has been hampering rescue and relief.
Kashmir Chamber of Commerce and Industry President Sheikh Ashiq has expressed serious concern over the poor connectivity saying that it was affecting “relief, rescue and rehabilitation, alike.”
“Poor phone and internet connectivity has furthered the woes of flood victims,” Ashiq said. He asked the telcos to put their connectivity in order without any further delay.
But the telecom operators claim that most of the network has been restored. A news agency said BSNL has restored 85 percent of its network, taking telecom services in the flood-hit Kashmir Valley and Jammu region closer to normalisation.
Private operators Vodafone and Aircel said they have also resumed connectivity in most parts of the Kashmir. A BSNL official told PTI that the state-run firm has about 1,173 base transceiver stations (BTS) or mobile towers in the state and 934 are now working. The firm has been able to restore 15 mobile towers and one landline exchange in south Kashmir.
BSNL has also entered into an intra-circle roaming pact with Aircel for 15 days in order to provide connectivity to its users. “With the support and co-operation of the government authorities, Vodafone today is one the top operators providing maximum coverage in the valley. We are also ensuring connectivity to subscribers through the intra-circle roaming (ICR) arrangement with other private operators,” Vodafone , as per the news agency, said.