Bharat Sanchar Nigam has been told to improve services and ensure that better quality of signal is maintained specially in the border and extremism affected areas. Union Minister for Telecom and Information Technology, Ravi Shankar Prasad said these at a meeting with the members of Parliament from the States of Bihar, Meghalaya, Manipur and Nagaland. The meeting was part of the series of meetings planned to make telecom officials directly answerable to the parliamentary representatives so as to have a firsthand account of public sectors performance, problems faced and possible solutions.
The Union Minister for Telecom and Information Technology, Ravi Prasad said while the Government is committed to revive BSNL and numbers of initiatives are in the pipeline to bring it back to the position of market leader. He said the management of BSNL will also be expected to regain lost confidence of people by improving services and response. He said a major initiative has been launched by BSNL to improve quality of signal for which it plans to add another 1150 towers during this fiscal in Bihar alone.
Members of Parliament from the States of Rajasthan, Himachal Pradesh and North Eastern States participated in the first meeting. Prasad has directed the Department to call five such meetings so that all members of parliament are given opportunity to raise issues directly with officials concerned.
Members of Parliament who attended yesterday’s meetings gave overwhelming support to Prasad initiative to revive glory of BSNL and categorically stated that they are eager to extend all support in this context. They were not only concerned about the deteriorating quality of BSNL services but even apprehended private players role in obstructing growth of BSNL which enjoined lead position in the sector till 2004.They only suggested that meeting of representatives from Defence and Home should be called to address this problem.
Prasad also directed the Department of Telecom to explore the possibility of setting up a dedicated cell in BSNL to monitor the effectiveness of its network in border areas and also in areas badly affected by extremism.
The meeting was also informed that the public sector which came into being only in October 2000 has a net worth of Rs 51,203 crore with an equity capital of Rs 12,500 crore only. New initiatives taken to improve viability include Wi-FI services, data centre services and introduction of next generation network switching technology. It was pointed out that four million lines in phase -I will have NGN by the end of this fiscal while total number of 14 million ports are planned. 2500 hot spots are planned for the year of which 41 hot-spot have already been deployed.