While struggling with the global pandemic and ongoing financial crunch, here is another alarm for BSNL, in a letter to the BSNL Chairman and MD P.K. Purwar, the TAIPA mentioned, “There is an urgent need for intervention and support regarding clearance of outstanding dues of our IP – 1 member due to which our members are facing huge cash crunch which is leading to following challenges with regard to ensuring 24×7 telecom operations on telecom tower sites of BSNL in view of the present situation due to COVID-19,” citing difficulty in paying rent and in incurring operational expenses among other issues.
TAIPA, on Friday, said it has also asked the Department of Telecommunications (DoT) to intervene and support in clearance of the dues.
TAIPA’s members include Indus Towers Limited, ATC Telecom Infrastructure Pvt Limited, Bharti Infratel Limited and Tower Vision Limited, Sterlite Technologies Limited, Space Telelink Limited, Applied Solar Technologies and Coslight India Limited.
In its letter dated April 9, TAIPA said that landlords, where BSNL sites are installed, have been demanding the payment of rentals and threatening for coercive action and the infrastructure providers are also facing difficulty in payment of electricity bills of BSNL tower sites.
It further said, “procurement of diesel/batteries and other back up storage devices for telecom towers sites of BSNL is getting impacted.”
The tower companies are also facing challenges in keeping the uptime as per SLA’s (service-level agreement) for BSNL tower sites which is leading to BSNL network outage and blackouts in nearby areas of the sites.
T.R. Dua, Director General, TAIPA said: “The situation has become highly critical now with total outstanding dues from BSNL amounting to approximately Rs 1,500 crore which has been pending for long. Already the telecom industry is going through the financial crisis, this is an addition to the financial woes of the telecom IP-1 players who are working tirelessly for ensuring 24/7 connectivity across the country.”
“We are looking forward to an urgent intervention and support from the CMD, BSNL in the matter,” he added.