BERHAMPUR: As if frequent power cut in the searing heat was not enough, disruption in telecommunication service by BSNL has added to the miseries of the residents here.While officials of power distribution company Southco have been shifting the blame for power cuts to GRIDCO, BSNL is blaming its employees who have been on an agitation for long. President of BSNL Casual Karmachari Sangha J Kameswar Rao said around 220 members of the association, who are working with BSNL on contractual basis, have not been given their salaries for the last four months.
“Following non-payment of salary, the EPF of the affected employees were not deposited,” he said. Rao said the Sangha had apprised the General Manager of BSNL’s Berhampur Telecom District about their decision to go on strike. “As no steps were taken to pay heed to our demands, we started our agitation on May 20 and would continue it till the pending salaries are paid,” he said.
The telecom district mostly depends on casual and contractual staff in the absence of regular employees. As all the staff are on strike, telecommunication services, including telephone and broadband, have been severely affected in the region.Meanwhile, BSNL officials said the higher-ups have been apprised of the crisis and soon steps would be taken to resolve it. However, it may be too late as several loyal customers of the Government-owned firm have decided to shift to private operators.