Equipment theft cases: Telcos seek govt action

COAI, in a letter to the Department of Telecommunication (DoT), asked them to take strict measures to curb the theft.
Equipment theft cases: Telcos seek govt action

NEW DELHI: The Cellular Operator Association of India (COAI), an association representing all three private telecom operators -- Reliance Jio, Bharti Airtel, and Vodafone Idea Limited (VIL), urged the government to intervene in telecom equipment theft cases that are taking place across the country.

COAI, in a letter to the Department of Telecommunication (DoT), asked them to take strict measures to curb the theft. Nearly 15,000 devices (telecom towers) of Bharti Airtel were stolen, followed by Reliance Jio’s 1,748 and Vodafone Idea’s 368. As per the industry estimates, the telcos are facing losses of up to Rs 700 crore due to these thefts.

In a letter, COAI requested to conduct regular meetings with the telecom service providerson the theft cases in their service areas and to sensitise state police regarding the issue. They also mentioned raising the issue in the State BroadBand Committee (SBC) meeting. Another measure suggested was to discuss this issue with state police and law enforcement agencies in a quarterly review.

The letter noted that the most thefts took place in the states of Rajasthan, Karnataka, and Uttar Pradesh. Delhi and Punjab come next. In last two months, thefts of 2,000 units were reported only in Uttar Pradesh. There have been over 570 thefts in Noida, 390 in Ghaziabad.

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