Hudhud fallout: Naidu talks tough to telecom operators

At a review meeting with cell operators at Visakhapatnam on Thursday, the CM said his efficiency has gone down by 50 per cent due to failure of telecommunications and power sector.

Updated - November 16, 2021 07:17 pm IST

Published - October 16, 2014 03:33 pm IST - VIJAYAWADA:

Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu reviews the situation in the aftermath of the Hudhud cyclone, at the Collectorate on Wednesday. Photo: Special Arrangement

Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu reviews the situation in the aftermath of the Hudhud cyclone, at the Collectorate on Wednesday. Photo: Special Arrangement

Chief Minister N. Chandrababu Naidu on Thursday directed the district collector to send police to the residences of telecom operators who failed to attend a review meeting.

Addressing the meeting with cell operators at Visakhapatnam on Thursday, Mr. Naidu said that his efficiency has gone down by 50 per cent due to failure of tele-communications and power sector. The telecom operators were more concerned about saving a few rupees on diesel at the cost of public interest. Had the operators responded in desired manner, the telecom services would have been restored in two days, he opined.

Bharti Enterprises (Bharti Airtel) Chairman Sunil Mittal, who was present at the meeting, agreed that the telecom operators could not meet the expectations of the government. The operators left no stone unturned to restore operations but for adverse conditions.

"Non availability of diesel, ATMs and lack of right of way were main reasons behind failure of the operators. Electricity was another major issue that hindered the restoration process. The operators could manage to procure diesel with great difficulty. The operators could not lay the fibre optic due as there were access problem such uprooted trees were not cleared,â" Mr. Sunil Mittal said.

Mr. Mittal said that the Airtel would restore complete operations by October 18. Antennas need to be replaced in six areas, he said adding, the antennas would be replaced by Thursday evening in five places.

Mr. Naidu, however, was not ready to buy the theory of Mr. Mittal that diesel was not available. Dedicated diesel tankers were kept at disposal of the operators. “But, our reports say that the operators were interested in saving few rupees on diesel,†he asserted.

The Chief Minister further added that he could not communicate with his officials when Prime Minister Narendra Modi visited the cyclone-affected areas due lack of telecom services. The operators were expected to rise up to the occasion. Services should be restored on war footing and provide free roaming services in cyclone affected areas, he added.

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