Mobile Phone operators BSNL, Aircel, Bharti Airtel, Vodafone India and Idea Cellular have intensified their efforts to restore services in flood hit J&K.
Telecom services in flood-hit Jammu and Kashmir are being restored slowly with mobile operators resuming network connectivity in various parts of the region.
The state owned Bharat Sanchar Nigam Ltd (BSNL) was one of the first networks to start functioning in the region. The operator has assured that that fixed line, internet services and mobile services will be functioning fully in the next four-five days in Srinagar. RN Sudhakar, BSNL’s chief general manager Jammu and Kashmir told HT, “All exchanges in Srinagar had been submerged and we would be able to restore only a few of them by today (Tuesday) evening. It will take a minimum of four – five days to restore telecom network in the whole of Srinagar. Currently the exchange in ‘Barzulla’ is operational.”
Private Telecom operators Airtel, Aircel, Vodafone and Idea are also trying to resume their operations in the region. Vodafone, Idea and Airtel have come up an initiative to provide additional talk-time credit to all the customers in the J&K region to ensure low balance doesn’t prevent them from making emergency calls, while telecom operator Aircel has offered free calls to all its postpaid and prepaid customers in Jammu and Kashmir for the next two days i.e., September 10 and 11. The company has also set up mobile charging booths and calling booths to allow the victims to make free calls to their family and friends.
Aircel stated, "Aircel is working together with the local administration and the Army to restore 2G network in the city and to ensure no outages reoccur on their 3G network, which is presently up and running in Srinagar.”
Vodafone India, stated that it had restored "mobile coverage in Srinagar and key towns like Anantnag, Qazigund, Mattan, Avantipura and Ashumukam with support from various government authorities."
Hughes Communications India, the largest VSAT service provider in India, stated that 39% of its KU band VSAT sites and 44% of its XC band VSAT sites were affected by the Kashmir floods. Shivaji Chatterjee, head of enterprise business, Hughes Communications India stated, "Hughes is diagnosing all its J&K VSAT sites which got affected last week because of the floods. Immediate corrective actions are being taken."
Main photo source: Zargar Zahoor/Kashmir Reader