Azad Takes Up Issue With Centre For Certain Relaxations
24 September 2007
The Daily Excelsior
Jammu: As the latest guidelines of the Union Home Ministry and Department of Telecommunication (DoT) are all set to deny cellular service to major portion of 10 districts of the State, the Chief Minister has taken up the issue with Central Government for certain relaxations so that people of such districts would continue to enjoy mobile services. Authoritative sources told the EXCELSIOR that finding itself in tizzy following the latest guidelines of Union Home Ministry, the Chief General Manager (CGM) of the Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL) J&K Circle T R Wadhwa discussed the issue with the Chief Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad and sought his intervention in the larger benefit of the people of 10 districts of the State. The Chief Minister was apprised that sword of re-locating large number of BTS towers in the border areas across the State has been hanging over the BSNL due to restriction on installation of mobile service towers within 10 kilometre aerial distance from International Border (IB) as well as Line of Control (LoC). The BSNL authorities informed Mr Azad that major portion of Kupwara, Bandipora, Baramulla, Leh and Kargil districts having close proximity with the Line of Control (LoC) and Poonch, Rajouri, Jammu, Samba and Kathua districts having proximity with IB as well as LoC would get affected if they have to re-locate their sites as per the guidelines. 'A huge chunk of population of these districts which at present is enjoying the cellular service, would be deprived of the same once the sites are re-located', the Chief Minister was further conveyed. The BSNL authorities also expressed their apprehensions that this move may anguish the affected people. 'On the request of BSNL and for the benefit of people, the Chief Minister has taken up the issue with the Union Home Ministry and DoT for certain relaxations in the aerial distance so that only small portion of these districts would get affected', the sources said. The request about relaxation in the guidelines has also been made from North-East States, which also come under the purview of these guidelines, the sources disclosed and said that about four Member Parliament from North-East have taken up the issue with the Centre. Not only Chief Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad, even Member Parliament from Ladakh region Thupstan Chhewang has also vigorously taken up the matter with the Union Home Ministry and DoT, the sources further disclosed and said that the MP while seeking certain relaxations has also pointed out poor connectivity of Ladakh region particularly Kargil district with rest of the country through landline telephones too. Meanwhile, the BSNL has taken bandwidth of Powergrid Corporation on lease to improve the connectivity between twin capital cities. With this step, the communication link between Srinagar and Jammu will not snap even if the single line optical fibre gets damaged anywhere between these cities.