Reliance Jio executives are planning to meet the government officials in Punjab to discuss the extensive damage created by farmers by cutting power supply to Jio-owned towers and how to control the damage in the coming days. A PTI report said that farmers have damaged more than 1,500 towers of Reliance Jio in Punjab as part of their protests against the three farm laws. Since Reliance Jio is owned by Mukesh Ambani and farmers believe the new farm laws benefit the billionaire, they are targeting the telco's towers to disrupt the business. Farmers are removing the power supply to Jio's towers due to which the telco's business is being disrupted. Right after this report, ET Telecom reported that the Jio officials are looking to meet senior state government officials in Punjab to discuss the tower damage issue.
Over 1,450 Jio Towers Damaged by Farmers in Punjab
The ET Telecom report says farmers have damaged over 1,450 'Jio-owned or operated telecom towers' in Punjab. On Friday, Punjab's chief minister Amarinder Singh asked farmers not to damage the towers and disrupt the already troubled economy. The PTI report added that 1,411 towers were damaged till Sunday end and the number must have gone up to 1,500. Furthermore, farmers are also burning the fibre cables of Reliance Jio. For the unaware, Reliance Jio has 9,000 towers in Punjab, and already 15% of towers are damaged so far. Reliance Jio has around 14 million customers in Punjab.
Farmers are cutting the power supply to Jio's towers which is probably the easiest way to stop a tower from functioning. Due to this, Jio users in Punjab are complaining about the network issues on Twitter. Simultaneously, some angry users are tweeting 'BoycottJio' and this hashtag has already amassed 17,000 tweets on Monday. It is also said that the generator used as a power supply to one of Jio's tower in Punjab was taken away by farmers and they donated it to a local gurudwara.
Meanwhile, Reliance Jio officials are looking to engage talks with Punjab government officials to discuss how to control the damage. The Punjab government already requested farmers to protest in peace and asked them not to trouble the general public. If this continues, Reliance Jio will lose the ground in Punjab. The telco already wrote to Trai saying incumbents Airtel and Vi are running anti-competitive MNP campaign to cash on the ongoing farmers protest in Punjab. On the whole, Punjab has 40 million telecom subscribers as per the latest data released by Trai.