TIRUCHY: Following hundreds of BSNL employees opting for VRS, operations have taken a hit in Tiruchy district. Customers have complained that due to shortage of staff, services such as bill payments can take several hours.
The ‘BSNL Voluntary Retirement Scheme - 2019’ was rolled out by the Central government as part of its revival plan for the public sector company. As many as 92,956 employees, including 5,308 from Tamil Nadu, opted for the scheme. However, with all those employees who opted for VRS not turning up for work from January 31, 2020, several customer services have taken a hit. “We understand the financial situation of the company, but what about its customers and services? Earlier, there were at least two to three counters for paying bills, but now we are managing with one counter. How will they manage hundreds of customers through one counter?” asked BSNL customer K Kumar.
Apart from customer services, maintenance works have been hit due to the staff shortage. Reportedly, there are no technicians to even manage the optical fibres and towers, according to an official.
A senior official speaking on condition of anonymity said, “We do not have enough enough employees to manage complaints related to optical fibres. At least 50 per cent of the total workforce in Tiruchy division has opted for VRS, how are we to manage?”
Due to the difficulties, BSNL employee associations have demanded the Centre release the revival package as announced and rearrange the workforce on a war-footing to make sure services do not take a hit. Kamaraj, assistant circle secretary, All Indian BSNL Executives Association, said, “As part of the revival of BSNL, several schemes were rolled out. We request the Centre to allot the USO fund projects to BSNL on nomination basis. As there is a shortage in the workforce, immediate arrangements should be made to prevent BSNL from losing customers.”