Telecom services in Jharkhand, Bihar under threat
Telecom infrastructure companies have also sought assistance from law enforcement authorities and police personnel.
The Digital Infrastructure Providers Association (DIPA), India's main representative organisation of digital infrastructure providers, asked the governments of Bihar and Jharkhand on Tuesday to take action against "self-proclaimed" unions that have threatened to disrupt telecom services in the region.
"A self-proclaimed union has issued an illegal threat to disrupt telecom services in both states – Bihar and Jharkhand – if their alleged illegal demands, specifically regarding monetary benefits, are not met," T R Dua, Director General of Digital Infrastructure Providers Association (DIPA), said in a statement.
Indus Towers, American Tower Corporation, Summit Digitel (Reliance Jio Infratel), and Tower Vision are all DIPA members. According to a DIPA statement, the tower businesses' attempts to reduce their reliance on fuel have not been favourably received by the unions. Telecom infrastructure companies have also sought assistance from law enforcement authorities and police personnel.
Dua has requested that state governments intervene in providing required directives to all competent authorities in all districts to maintain uninterrupted telecom connection and the safety of telecom personnel, their families, officers, agents, and partners.
Meanwhile, telecom operators represented by the Cellular Operators Association of India (COAI) have urged the Department of Telecommunications (DoT) to assist in the prevention of "malpractices of diesel pilferage" in Bihar, alleging that various union leaders have threatened to close telecom sites in the state, potentially affecting 1,2000 telecom towers and causing network outages.
COAI is an industry association comprised of telecom carriers such as Reliance Jio, Bharti Airtel, and Vodafone Idea, as well as telecom equipment manufacturers such as Ericsson and Nokia.