It has been almost a month now that the government ordered functioning of BSNL landline phones in Kashmir valley. Besides, near about 45 lakh postpaid mobile phones were also released easing out the strict communication clampdown that was put in place post August 5, when the Union government annulled the special status of the state.
The communication clampdown imposed in Kashmir valley on August 5 this year hit every section of the society very hard. Even as of now more than 25 lakh pre-paid subscribers are wandering from pillar to post to get their numbers converted into postpaid ones, but to no avail.
Even though the 70 day long communication clampdown became a gold-mine of sort for the Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL), that had otherwise lost its monopoly on communication due to fierce competition in rest of the country, its employees posted in Kashmir valley are trying every bit to harass the subscribers.
As of now the BSNL counters are witnessing serpentine queues as people are trying to pay their phone bills and seek fresh phone connections, both landline and postpaid mobile connections.
However, the BSNL is acting true to its style. No additional counters have been setup to cater to the fresh upsurge in phone connections and people end up spending most part of the day paying up bills and seeking status on fresh connections.
In addition those who have been lucky enough to secure a postpaid mobile connection have been waiting for days together to get their numbers activated, but the long wait does not end. Even the response at the felicitation counters too proves to be of no help.
The case is no different for those who are either seeking a fresh landline connection or reactivating old ones. Thousands of such applications are pending with the BSNL and the ground staff and other officials are making a fortune out of the people’s miseries.
In most of the uptown localities where people have been demanding restoration of old connections and even fresh ones the ground staff of the organization has fixed rates for such requests. A new phone line costs upto 4000 bucks and the restoration of landlines can go up to 3000 in most of the cases.
The linemen in most of the areas have been taking the people for a ride as no authority is willing to issue strict directions to the field staff and fix timelines for them to get the phones working.
The staff is acting callous at a time when BSNL was finding it hard to provide salaries to its employees and now as the situation changed for them in Kashmir, the employees prefer to work the way they like. Even the organization has remained silent over the period when a clampdown was in place and no phone connection was working.
As of now people are made to pay for the period as well as no official is willing to listen to the peoples woes.