Jail jammers block mobile signals of residents of Bengaluru central prison

The new jammers have a reach of almost one km around the prison compared to the old ones (100 metres).
Bengaluru Central Prison
Bengaluru Central Prison(Photo | Express)

BENGALURU : Over 20,000 people living near the Bengaluru central prison at Parappana Agrahara are distressed due to the ‘Tower-Harmonious Call Blocking System’ (T-HCBS) at the prison.

They complain of ‘no signal’ on their phones, unable to receive OTPs, make transactions and emergency calls or even guide e-commerce agents to their homes after new high frequency jammers were installed at the prison in January.

The new jammers have a reach of almost one km around the prison compared to the old ones (100 metres).

Residents of Southern Winds Layout took out a procession and staged a protest in front of the prison on Saturday. They sought action from Malini Krishnamurthy, Director General of Prisons. They submitted a memorandum to the prison officials in support of their demands.

Though the residents have complained to the jail authorities several times, nothing has been done to resolve their ‘signal’ problem. Instead, the Prisons and Correctional Services Department has asked the Department of Telecommunications (DoT) to inspect the area and suggest solutions.

According to an email response accessed by TNIE, DOT along with Telecom Service Providers (TSPs) such as BSNL, Vodafone and Reliance Jio Infocomm inspected the area on May 6 and found that the three towers inside the 40-acre prison have ranges of 500 metres, 700, 400 and 700 metres from East, South, West and North directions, respectively, outside the prison. 

‘Our phones are dummy devices’

TSPs were asked by DoT to provide a tentative action plan to mitigate the signal problem in the residential areas.

“Our phones have become dummy devices. We even tried changing our SIM cards expecting a better network, but it was all in vain. Individuals working from home and students attending online classes have been affected. We cannot track our children’s school buses nor be warned of any emergencies. All our complaints have fallen on deaf ears,” Nithyanandhan, a resident, told The New Sunday Express.

He said the residents are not demanding that the jammers be removed. What they want is to reduce the frequency of jammers. Another resident said that even police officials are struggling due to the jammers.

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