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BSNL unions to protest against cancellation of 4G tender

Our Bureau Mumbai | Updated on July 14, 2020 Published on July 14, 2020

The All Unions and Associations of BSNL (AUAB) is organising a lunch-hour black-flag demonstrations on Thursday to protest against the cancellation of 4G tender and delay in implementation of revival package among others.

The protests are also against the cancellation of BSNL’s proposal for upgradation of its 49,300 base transceiver stations to 4G, delay in issuing ‘Add on Order’ for 4G equipment and employees’ issues.

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The demonstrations would be conducted across the country, AUAB, the umbrella organisation of all the employees’ unions of the state-run telecom company, said in a statement.

BSNL employees will also wear black-badges on Thursday (July 16), it added.

It is nearly nine months now since the revival package of BSNL was announced by the Government. Still, BSL employees are not getting their salary on the due date.

This is the condition, even after the retrenchment of 79,000 employees under the voluntary retirement scheme, which has cut down the wage bill of the company by more than 50 per cent.

“This state of affairs of BSNL, speaks volumes about the lethargy and indifference on the part of the Government of India and the BSNL management, in taking expeditious steps for reviving BSNL,” it said.

Rolling out of 4G service is the back-bone to BSNL’s revival. However, the recent cancellation of the tender floated by BSNL, for procuring 4G equipment, has brought the company back to square one.

It is a total failure on the part of the Government and the management that, even after nine months, no significant step has been taken, to roll out BSNL’s 4G service.

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BSNL already has 49,300 4G-compatible BTSs. Through minor upgradation, all these can be converted into 4G BTSs with an investment of about Rs 1,500 crore.

In addition to this, BSNL could have added another 15,000 BTSs by placing ‘Add on Order’ to the existing mobile tender. Thus, 64,300 4G BTSs could have been pressed into service by the BSNL management, within 2-3 months of allotment of 4G spectrum in October 2019, it added.

Thus, BSNL could have rolled out its pan-India 4G services. However, the BSNL management has “miserably failed” in this task. Being the sole owner of the company, the Government also cannot shirk its responsibility on this matter, the release added.

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Published on July 14, 2020
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