After being hit by one of the worst floods in the last 60 years, the residents of Jammu & Kashmir are now facing disruption in landline and cellular services.
This has created extreme chaos in the valley as the residents are not able to get in touch with dear ones stranded across the valley.
The services of some operators were hit by water while the towers of others stopped functioning due to power outage. In hilly areas like J&K, telecom companies practise infrastructure sharing for most of the times. So, if one cellular tower of one operator goes down then it affects the subscribers of many other telecom operators.
According to a BSNL official, services will be restored in 90% of the areas in the next week, and the full services will be restored by the next 10 days. They are working on restoring the services in a phased manner.
BSNL Director of Consumer Mobility, Anupam Shrivastava said in a statement, “One of the BSNL towers near Srinagar airport has been activated today through satellite link. There are two landline exchanges also which have been running. Also 12 3G towers of Aircel are functioning.” He also mentioned that 15 more towers will be made functional via satellite connectivity.
“To ensure that the people in the state are able to remain in touch with their family members during these difficult times, our teams in conjunction with the local administration and the DoT are working round the clock to restore network connectivity as early as possible”, said an official from Airtel.
Airtel has also tried to reach other telecom operators for opening roaming services across the valley, so that the consumers can get in touch with their family across the state.
Airtel has also decided to open up all of their outlets for public so that they can recharge their phones. Floods have caused power outage and the consumer cannot charge their phones. Besides offering free talktime, Airtel is also offering extended advanced talktime to those who are not able to get their numbers recharged.
As per TRAI records of March 2013, Airtel is the largest telecom operator in J&K followed by Aircel, BSNL, and Vodafone. Reliance and Idea Cellular are other telcos operating in the valley.
We sincerely hope that the telecom services return back to normal in the valley soon.