Thrissur: Around 19,000 BSNL towers have gone defunct with electricity connections to them being cut off, as bills of huge amounts became long overdue. Some towers went defunct as owners of the plot where towers stand, refused entry to them as the rent was not paid for months.
No efforts are being made to pay the due amounts and make them operative. There are around 70,000 towers. Several towers are facing similar threat.
Only Kerala, among states, supplies electricity to the towers with huge pending dues. Electricity boards of many states have cancelled the connection to BSNL towers and exchanges owing to rent arrears.
During Lok Sabha elections, BSNL had written to chief secretaries of all the states and the operator was given relief by continued power supply. However, the supply is being stopped as dues are not cleared.
After a meeting between electricity minister MM Mani, BSNL Circle Chiefs and leaders of employees' organisations, KSEB was instructed not to stop the supply. However, the amount due is soaring.
Meanwhile, BSNL employees are in crisis as they are unable to avail advance or withdraw money from General Provident Fund.
The crisis arose after the management failed to pay due amounts in respective institutions.
Installments towards bank loans, LIC premium, society loans have not been paid by BSNL for the last six months.
Employees are being served notice for irregular repayment by banks including HDFC and ICICI. zPublic sector banks are also charging fines for failing in repayment of loans. All India Committee of Employees Union has given a letter to CMD PK Puvar asking payment of fines by BSNL as suh failure in repayment was due to the management's fault.