The news comes in from Bihar where the Indian non-governmental industry body of telecom operators of India – Cellular Operators Association of India (COAI) on Tuesday stated that it has sought the help of the Department of Telecommunications (DoT) to prevent the malpractices of diesel pilferage from the towers by unscrupulous elements. Reports suggest that the teams working for the maintenance are facing huge threats, obstructions and manhandling issues while carrying out the maintenance work. COAI has approached the Department of Telecommunication to engage the Chief Secretaries of Bihar & to issue appropriate directions to District Magistrate/District Authorities/Police to be vigilant and safeguard the Telecom/Digital infrastructure.
The Current Scenario
The Director-General of COAI, Lt. Gen. Dr SP Kochhar in a statement said that telecommunication infrastructure and its services are a crucial part of the life of individuals as well as organizations. He informed that to ensure uninterrupted connectivity, the industry has accelerated the roll-out of Telecom Infrastructure. However, these telecom towers require a lot of diesel which has become a subject to pilferage by unscrupulous elements across Bihar.
The Director-General further informed that the members of the industry have been facing threats from the Union Leaders for shutting down telecom sites on 29th March 2022. This could cause complete connectivity shut-down / major telecom service disruption across Bihar. He said that the industry members are fully committed to providing uninterrupted connectivity to the citizens of Bihar, however, the local Union and Diesel Mafia are threatening the industry to shut down the telecom Infrastructure which will lead to network outrage across the state
One cannot deny the need for the telecom industry in today’s time. Telecom services is a public utility and are crucial for providing a robust network of mobile towers to boost connectivity and improve the overall socio-economic development of the country. To make the country more digitally advanced, it is necessary to develop a robust and secure state-of-the-art telecommunication network providing seamless coverage. To meet the National Broadband Mission (NBM) targets and realization of the Gati Shakti initiative, extensive laying of OFCs has commenced and is still underway by Telecom Service Providers (TSPs).