BSNL restores 272 mobile towers, 44 telephone exchanges in Uttarakhand

BSNL restores 272 mobile towers, 44 telephone exchanges in Uttarakhand
State-run telecom operator BSNL has restored 272 mobile towers in Uttarakhand and 44 telephone exchanges, CMD RK Upadhyay said on Wednesday.

The company, however, could not restore telecom infrastructure at three locations, Dharchula, Narayan Bazar and Kedarnath where all equipments of the company were washed away in the devastating floods, he added.

The BSNL chief said technology makes it possible for authorities to find out the exact number of people in the affected areas based on their mobile phone usage.

"It is technically possible to know how many customers were there (during the calamity) in that area at a particular time. That can be done," BSNL Chairman and Managing Director RK Upadhyay said.

When asked if BSNL tried to find out the number of its customers who could have been hit by floods, the BSNL CMD said: "This is for government to consider. As a licencing authority, the government can task any operator to do that.

Technical systems of each operator is independent and BSNL can find out about it customers."

The death toll has crossed over 800 due to unprecedented flash floods in Uttarakhand and initially over 70,000 pilgrims were estimated to be stranded in affected area. As on date 8,000 people are still estimated to be stranded in flood area.

Upadhyay that over 1,250 people used BSNL's mobile tracking service, accessible though helpline number 1503 and 09412024365, to know last location of their friends and relatives using BSNL mobile connection in flood-hit areas.

"We have responded to 949 queries till first half today," he said.

Telecom operator MTS and Aircel have also similar started mobile tracking services. These services can be accessed by dialling 91-9152550000 and 91-9152550001 for knowing the last location of an MTS number and 91-9716215000 and 91-9716218000 for an Aircel number.

For Bharti Airtel, the numbers are 9818003057 and 9958976317 while for the last location of an Idea Cellular customer, people can dial 8191999999 and 8191999998.

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Further reading: BSNL, Telecom, Telecom towers, Uttarakhand
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