MADURAI: The Southern Railway will soon give up Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BNSL) mobile services now used by over 3,000 railway officials. This follows a decision taken by the Railway Board to switch over to a private telecom operator.

For the six divisional offices of Southern Railway it would just be a change of operator. But for the BSNL it would mean an immediate revenue loss of a minimum of Rs. 21 lakh a month.

As of now, the BSNL has given State-wise closed user group to railway officials under the Plan 525. Under this plan, each user is eligible to make free calls worth Rs. 300 at a pulse rate of 15 seconds a unit. Besides, they get 100 free SMS (short messaging service).

“The decision is taken at New Delhi and we do not know the reason behind this,” railway sources said.

A BSNL official said that had the decision been taken at the zonal level (General Manager), officials at the BSNL circle level would have negotiated and made the plans more attractive for the railways.