India: Telecoms Disrupted : LUSENET : Grassroots Information Coordination Center (GICC) : One Thread


Wednesday, 20 September, 2000, 12:02 GMT 13:02 UK Indian telecoms disrupted

Services in major cities across India were affected Telecommunications services in India have suffered severe disruption over the past 24 hours due to technical problems made worse by a strike.

Most callers were unable to make long-distance phone calls from Delhi to other major Indian cities and vice versa, affecting businesses and day-to-day work.

The disruption also slowed down Internet services and affected the mobile telephone network.

Telephone users in the larger Indian cities of Delhi, Bombay, Bangalore, Madras and Calcutta were the worst affected - although the situation was reported to have improved on Wednesday.

Some 30-40,000 engineers have been on a go-slow for about a week to demand better wages.

Strike action

However, a spokesman for the Department of Telecommunications said their action was not related to the technical difficulties which had disrupted services.

Earlier this month, nearly 300,000 telecom workers went on a nationwide strike to protest against the government's plans to turn the Department of Telecommunications into a public limited company.

The protest ended with the government's promise to fulfil most of the demands.

The Department of Telecommunications, which employs about 400,000 people, is being turned into a government-run company from October.

The government says it will help turn the organisation into a more professional body, and create a share-ownership scheme.

But unions say the move will lead to privatisation and threaten their jobs and pensions.

-- Rachel Gibson (, September 20, 2000

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