BSNL, MTNL Stir Hits Communications

New Delhi, Chennai, Bangalore, Mumbai: | Updated: Oct 25 2002, 05:30am hrs
There were major network outages in the telecom networks of Bharat Sanchar Nigam Ltd (BSNL) and Mahanagar Telephone Nigam Limited (MTNL) following the work-to-rule agitation of the group A & B officers demanding hike in salaries and also pension payments from government funds.

The all-India agitation is claimed to be supported by about 40,000 officers spread across three unionsTelecom Engineering Officers Assoc-iation, MTNL Executives Association and BSNL Executives Association. MTNL Executives Association general secretary VK Tomar, told eFE that the work-to-rule agitation could be taken one step ahead to a full scale strike if their demands are not met.

BSNL chairman and managing director Prithipal Singh said he was unaware of any strike, while a couple of other senior officials of the public sector telecom company said there was no impact of the agitation and services were normal.

However, communications links between Delhi and the South were severely affected. Chennai Telephones found that around 10-12 STD routes going out of the city were not functioning properly since Thursday morning, especially STD routes to Delhi, Mumbai and Bangalore were completely cut off. This is because of some problem with the transmission media, said a senior BSNL official. We are still trying to figure out the exact nature of the problem, have started the process of rectifying the routes wherever we can and hope to set right the condition by end of the day, he said. Also, the section of the BSNL staff who are on a strike on the issue of pay-scale, reduced the speed of recovery, he added.

Bangalore, however, has not been affected much.

Senior MTNL officials in Mumbai said: There has been no impact and services were completely normal.