A deserted BSNL office with doors wide open

Customers turn up at BSNL’s Tripunithura office to find it all empty and wide open

Published: 16th January 2020 06:54 AM  |   Last Updated: 16th January 2020 06:54 AM   |  A+A-

Express News Service

KOCHI: Entrepreneur Ramesh Menon headed to the BSNL office in Tripunithura on Wednesday hoping to change his digital plan. But, he was in for a rude shock when he saw the huge office wide open and entirely unmanned, without even a security guard. 

Nobody manned the counters on the ground floor and the rooms which housed technical equipmaent were empty too. He searched the entire building for a staffer only to find none. An eerie silence enveloped the rooms. Soon, a few more customers gathered around. “Everybody looked puzzled,” says Ramesh. However, it was later revealed that the officials had put up a ‘Today Holiday’ board at an inconspicuous place, due to which customers missed seeing it. “Later, a friend told me that they were closed because of Pongal,” he adds.

VRS fiasco
The once-busy BSNL office at Tripunithura sports a forlorn look due to the mass voluntary retirement taken by the employees. According to an employee of the office, out of 35 staffers, around 19 had applied for VRS.“I read recently that 68.9 per cent of the eligible staff in Kerala have applied for VRS, the highest among all the states.” 

According to Ramesh, an electrician who was later spotted at the office, said the agency, which had been supplying security guards, withdrew their staffer due to non-payment of dues.Meanwhile, an official of the Sanchar Nigam Executives’ Association, Kerala said that on holidays, one person is always deputed to keep an eye on the equipment. “Maybe, at Tripunithara, he might have stepped out to have tea,” he says. 

Whatever may be the case, a lot of customers like Ramesh feel pained at the state of BSNL. “It has the best infrastructure when compared to private mobile companies. For my dad, who is 86, and my mom, who is 78, BSNL is their lifeline. They don’t use mobile phones. And for years, I lived outside and stayed in touch with them through BSNL only. What I fear most about the decline of BSNL is that landlines will become redundant. And elderly people will be left without phones.” A lot of them also express apprehension over giving VRS to technicians who have two to three decades of experience.

Stay up to date on all the latest Kochi news with The New Indian Express App. Download now
(Get the news that matters from New Indian Express on WhatsApp. Click this link and hit 'Click to Subscribe'. Follow the instructions after that.)

Comments

Disclaimer : We respect your thoughts and views! But we need to be judicious while moderating your comments. All the comments will be moderated by the newindianexpress.com editorial. Abstain from posting comments that are obscene, defamatory or inflammatory, and do not indulge in personal attacks. Try to avoid outside hyperlinks inside the comment. Help us delete comments that do not follow these guidelines.

The views expressed in comments published on newindianexpress.com are those of the comment writers alone. They do not represent the views or opinions of newindianexpress.com or its staff, nor do they represent the views or opinions of The New Indian Express Group, or any entity of, or affiliated with, The New Indian Express Group. newindianexpress.com reserves the right to take any or all comments down at any time.

flipboard facebook twitter whatsapp