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BSNL making unjustified expenses to suit vested interests
I visited Dhanbad and Hazaribagh on 3rd and 4th November in connection with the Central Executive Committee meeting of the BSNL Casual and Contract Workers Federation. While I witnessed the passion in BSNL workers to provide better services to people, I also saw how people with vested interests are giving a bad name to the company.

I WAS inspired by the huge gathering in the open session of BSNL and casual/Contract workers numbering many hundreds in the small town of Hazaribagh coming from some other districts far away.

The young comrades were full of confidence, commitment for the organization and prepared to fight. Many of the contract workers are graduates, post graduates and well versed with many kinds of work. Their speeches were also well prepared and well delivered.

On the other side, I also saw the inefficiency and carelessness of the management. One telecom exchange near Isri Bazaar (Dumri) is not functioning for the last one month. Broadband service is also at a standstill. But the management is still sleeping.

I visited the exchange while I was returning from Hazaribagh along with Com. Naresh Lal Circle Secretary, Com. B.Narayana, All India Vice-President BSNLEU and other comrades. The exchange had about 1000 connections earlier and due to complete negligence, the connections have now gone down to 100 only. If the present position continues, even those subscribers may leave BSNL. The GM is fully aware of the serious condition, but no action and no result. Subscribers are suffering and BSNL is going down.

In the Hazaribagh Road itself, there is an exchange. It was located in a rental building  in an ideal place for many years. The rent was less, say, Rs. 700 and there was no problem. But a few years back, a portion of the same has been shifted to about 2 km away without getting any benefit. In fact, the rent is about 10 times more than earlier. The entry to the owner's residence is through the exchange. It is also reported that the owner's electricity charges etc. are included in the exchange bill. CGM is fully aware of the same and has questioned the GM why this shifting and extra-expenditure. For years BSNL is making unjustified expense to suit somebody's vested interests.

The message is clear. While the workers and the unions want to improve BSNL, certain people in the management with vested interests are giving a bad name to the company and the workers. In many of the SSAs, such waste and corruption is rampant. But there is nobody to look into it and take action. The union has to focus on these issues and ensure better services to the people.

(About the Contributor: V.A.N. Namboodiri is the President of the BSNL Employees Union, the recognized union in the telecom PSU. He is the President of BSNL Casual and Contract Workers Federation and also the convener of Joint Action Committee of BSNL Unions /Associations of Non-Executives and Executives).

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