How BSNL maintained its services in Chennai

BSNL employees kept Chennai's phone and internet connectivity running even during the floods.  

Despite the torrential downpour taking a toll on vital public installations, Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL) managed to provide landline and net connectivity to a number of its subscribers.

Despite disruption in power supply, BSNL staff managed to operate their exchanges. On December 2, around 1.25 a.m. power supply to the Haddows Road exchange was suspended.

“Without fuel we could not have run the exchange. Our employees managed to buy diesel to run the generators,” said B. Ramachandran, general manager (central and sales and marketing).

But ensuring continuous supply of diesel was a mammoth task as the exchanges depend on smart fleet card to make payment.

“We have to swipe the cards but we could not use them as internet connectivity was down. We had to ask for credit purchase,” said R. Ravindran, sub-divisional engineer.

N.E. Rajasekaran, who runs the Bharat Petroleum Corporation Limited’s petrol filling station in Royapuram, knew Mr. Ravindran.

“Since we were not inundated, we could supply fuel. As the exchange could not run its vehicles, we offered to send diesel,” Mr. Rajasekaran said.

The three exchanges in Mambalam, Haddows Road and Anna Road, had bought diesel worth Rs. 5 lakh. “Each hour we use around 250 litres of diesel at the Haddows Road exchange. The Anna Road exchange required around 120 litres of diesel every hour,” Mr. Ravindran explained.

According to Mr. Ramachandran, it was important to keep all their 144 exchanges in Chennai functional as all government communication was through the service provider. Yet, fuel could not be supplied to the Mambalam exchange and that explains why parts of the city remained cut off for several hours.

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Printable version | May 15, 2021 2:58:34 PM |

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