Port Blair, May 07: The 6th Circle Conference of the Andaman & Nicobar Telecom Circle of the BSNL Employees Union was held yesterday at the Conference Hall of Teal House, Port Blair. The Delegate Session of the Conference began at 9.30 a.m. with the hoisting of the Union’s flag by Mr. P. Abhimanyu, General Secretary, BSNL Employees Union, New Delhi and delegates and others paying floral tributes to the martyrs at the specially erected Martyrs Memorial Column at the venue of the Conference. Delegates and observers from various units of the BSNL at Port Blair, South Andaman and outstation islands attended the Delegate Session where the Circle Secretary Mr. SP Kalairajan presented the working report of the Union’s activities in the islands since last Conference. Audited Accounts of the Circle Committee since last Conference was presented by Mr. C.R. Biswas, Treasurer. Delegates actively participated in the discussion on the report. Thereafter, the report of the Secretary and Audited Accounts were adopted by the Delegate Session. Addressing the Delegate Session, Mr. B. Chandrachoodan, Chairman, Reception Committee called upon the employees and workers of BSNL to continue to fight against the anti-working class policies of the central government.
The Open Session of the Conference began at 2.45 p.m.at the same venue. Mr. D. Ayyappan, General Secretary, Andaman & Nicobar Gazetted Officers’ Association inaugurated the Open Session. In his inaugural address, Mr. Ayyappan said that BSNL is the hope of the people in the islands and the private players will come and go but the government-owned BSNL will always be with the people of these islands despite various shortcomings created by wrong policies of the government. Addressing the Open Session, Mr. V. Jagadeesan, ITS, Chief General Manager (Telecom) who was the Chief Guest on the occasion, said that despite various constraints, BSNL is trying to provide better service to the islanders. He said that from the southern-most part of the country viz. Indira Point upto northern part of the union territory the BSNL services are provided. He informed that the Government of India on 1st May, 2018 has finally accepted the tender for the undersea cable from Chennai to Port Blair and various outstation islands and the work of laying the undersea cable will be completed in the next two years and the telecommunication services will be available at par with any other area on the mainland.
Addressing the Open Session, Mr. P. Abhimanyu, General Secretary, BSNL Employees Union, New Delhi, who is currently at Port Blair to participate in the Conference, elaborately explained the various aspects of competition in the telecom sector and the BSNL’s role in providing telecom services in the country particularly in the rural areas of the country. He said that with the arrival of the Reliance Jio in the field, other telecom companies are facing stiff competition and it has adversely affected the BSNL also.
He further said that Reliance Jio is following the predatory pricing policy in their tariff which will demolish all other telecom companies in the country. He cited the example of Vodafone and Aircell which have stopped its operation in the country. Thousands of crores of rupees earned through business in the country are being pumped into Reliance Jio by Mr. Mukesh Ambani. BSNL, which was running in loss from 2009-10 onwards, recorded the operational net profit during the years 2014-15 and 2015-16 but thereafter started losing its earnings with the arrival of the Reliance Jio. Emphasizing the need to strengthen the BSNL, Mr. Abhimanyu said that an amount of Rs. 16,000 crores are required by the BSNL for purchasing the spectrum for the 4G services and the proposals sent to the government by the BSNL were kept in cold storage. He said that it was only after a massive agitation by the officers and employees of BSNL in Delhi recently that the Minister of Communications during a discussion with the delegation of all the Unions agreed to provide the required fund for the purchase of spectrum for the 4G services of BSNL. He said that BSNL employees and officers will conduct corner meetings throughout the country to protest against the Govt. of India’s decision to create a separate BSNL Tower subsidiary company to manage the nearly 70,000 BSNL towers in the country.
Mr. K.G. Das, former General Secretary of Non-Gazetted Govt. Officers’ Association, Mr. P. Sathyapal, President of the NGOs’ Association, Mr. Vinod Krishna, Circle Secretary of Sanchar Nigam Executives Association, Mr. Vijay Kumar, General Manager, BSNL Telecom Circle also addressed the Open Session. Mr. Rajagopal, Circle President, BSNLEU proposed vote of thanks.