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BBNL & BSNL CMDs & officials may face 'exemplary disciplinary action'

By Indian Mandarins- 16 Nov 2018
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Telecom Secretary Aruna Sundararajan has spoken about 'exemplary disciplinary action' if the CMDs and officers concerned of BBNL and BSNL didn't accelerate the work on BharatNet – Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s pet project to connect 2.5 lakh gram panchayats (GPs) with high-speed internet by March 2019.  She has also set a deadline of 48 hours for rectifying certain glaring lapses.

 

Indianmandarins has learned that the dispute between the BBNL and BSNL is triggered by ego clashes among officials of the two PSUs who refuse to act as a team in executing the project, even though the project is the backbone of the PM's ‘Digital India’ vision.


In a letter to Sanjay Singh, CMD BBNL, and Anupam Srivastava, CMD BSNL, Sundararajan has reportedly said the government was concerned over field reports indicating a lack of connectivity in 80-90 percent of the GPs, as well as massive under-utilization/non-utilization of the BharatNet infrastructure.

 

“Given that this project is being monitored at the highest level in the government [PM], the failure to comply with or disregard of the instructions shall invite exemplary disciplinary action. The failure of both BBNL and BSNL to resolve the issues impeding utilization of BharatNet and to put in place an effective O&M (operation and maintenance) arrangement is viewed with extreme displeasure,” she wrote.

 

She added “Though a clear utilization target has already been set, the actual utilization on the ground is understood to be less than 10 percent of the target. This points to an utter lack of professionalism on the part of BBNL and BSNL with poor planning, lack of monitoring and coordination between the two organizations.”

 

The Telecom Secretary further said that all non-operational GPs should be made operational within 48 hours and a dedicated team should be constituted in the Department of Telecom (DoT) to ‘audit the status on the field’.

 

“Disciplinary action shall be initiated against all the responsible officers for GPs where fault rectification is delayed beyond 48 hours,” Sundararajan added.

 

Till end-December last year, only one lakh GPs were covered under in the first phase, and in January, the government had announced that the second phase would be completed by end December 2018, well ahead of the March 2019 deadline. However, as of end- October 2018, only 1.15 lakh GPs were reportedly ready.

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Indianmandarins.com, an initiative of New Media Network, is a multi-media initiative for the fast and real-time dissemination of news and information related to civil services, central PSUs and other institutions that play a critical role in governance, administration, corporate governance, and public life in India. We aspire to provide our esteemed readers with news breaks and situation analysis in the above-mentioned domain of operations. Currently, we are available at www.indianmandarins.com. We are now planning to branch off into print publication and few other related business initiatives.