Vendor tiff affects BSNL repair
State-owned telecom service provider BSNL is finding it difficult to implement service level agreements with vendors in the Calcutta circle as the pacts put the consumers’ interest in focus by promising time-bound service restoration and penalty clauses on outsourced vendors.
BSNL has seen its landlines shrink by almost a third to around 5 lakh, resulting in revenue from services going down. However, there has not been a commensurate decrease in the number of outsourced contractual workers who service the faults reported with the operator.
The annual outgo for payment to the vendors who in turn pay the workers is almost equivalent to the revenue earned from the services. But the faults are not serviced on time and the subscriber complaints mount.
“Around three months back the corporate office decided to introduce a service level agreement for outsourced vendors. Under the agreement, landline faults have to be restored by the vendor within 12 hours and broadband services within 4-8 hours of reporting. Otherwise there are set penalties that amount to a certain per cent of the invoice value based on the delay time,” said a BSNL official on Tuesday.
The Calcutta circle has been divided into 31 clusters and tenders have been called. The vendors have cut down on the number of workers. As a result many of the contractual workers have started agitation at different offices of BSNL resulting in service disruption.
“It is becoming difficult for our officers and department employees to get into the offices and exchanges and go on with their job. There are dharnas and gheraos and there is no social distancing maintained. There was severe damage estimated at around Rs 10 crore due to cyclone Amphan and had it not been for the current trouble we would have been able to resolve all the complaints and faults,” said the official.
He added that the corporate office has been informed of the plight and the state administration has also been updated on the situation.