Landlines yet to be restored, subscribers asked to pay bills
Prominent pediatrician Dr Altaf Hussain lost his Jawahar Nagar house to September floods when the three-floor structure got razed to ground. Two months on the landline services in the locality are yet to be restored. Amid this devastation, the BSNL has asked him to pay bill for the period of complete service breakdown.
The subscriber narrates his tale: “My residential house situated at 412, Jawahar Nagar collapsed completely in the September 2014 floods. I have been a client of the BSNL for decades. My landline telephone number was (0194)-2310473. I have paid the bill for August 2014. Today, I was shocked to get the bill for the month of Nov 2014 for Rs213.”
“Needless to say that I have lost not only my residence and livelihood, but the BSNL telephone services too. In a civilized setup I would have expected a word of sympathy from the telecom department for the colossal loss that I have suffered along with lakhs of other sufferers like me,” he added.
“This heartless act of sending the bill for the month of Nov 2014 amounts to rubbing salt on our wounds. Needless, to say the telephone to all the collapsed houses/offices are totally non-functional since September 7, 2014. The concerned authorities owe an apology to consumers like me whom they take for a ride without providing any service,” the medico, who is also a prominent civil society activist said.
But Dr Altaf is not alone. Hundreds of subscribers from across the City have similar tales to narrate. Javeed Lone of Shiv Pora Rose Colony said he too received bill for the past two months. “At a time when the area is devastated and landline cables snapped, it seems that landlines have been working on some wireless that we have been given bills,” Javeed ridiculed. “Its scandalous attitude of BSNL,” said another irked subscriber.
The subscribers said serving bills at this point of time to the flood affected people is like insult to the injury of the flood hit. “Why is not the BSNL billing system programmed properly that it skips billing the affected subscribers, or are people of Kashmir being taken for granted on every front?”