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Telecom towers damage during farm stir: PSPCL directs staff to switch to Reliance Jio SIM cards

Chairman cum Managing Director PSPCL A Venu Prasad told The Indian Express that the SIM cards of employees were being changed because of the tender of Vodafone was over and new tenders were called in, in which three companies -- Airtel, Vodafone and Reliance Jio -- had participated.

Written by Anju Agnihotri Chaba | Jalandhar |
March 11, 2021 9:19:50 am
Telecom towers damage during farm stir: PSPCL directs staff to switch to Reliance Jio SIM cardsDuring the ongoing agitation by farmers against three new farm laws enacted by the Centre, over 1500 mobile towers in Punjab have ben damaged. (Representational Image)

ALMOST TWO months after a series of incidents involving damage to Reliance Jio mobile towers and related network infrastructure were reported across the state amid the farmers’ agitation, the Punjab State Power Corporation Limited (PSPCL) has sent a directive to its officials to send details of their respective SIM cards to senior authorities with immediate effect so they can be replaced with Reliance Jio.

Thousands of PSPCL employees have been using Vodafone SIM cards for years now under the corporate connection scheme.

A letter in this regard sent by a deputy chief engineer headquarters cum administration, North Jalandhar, has also gone viral on social media, resulting in a backlash.

The letter dated March 8, addressed to all engineers and other officials, says: “Under your area all Vodafone SIM users (PSPCL employees) should give the details of their SIM cards as per the requirement mentioned in the letter by 3 pm today and if the details were not sent on time then the received information from other offices except yours would be sent to the higher authorities and the entire responsibility of it is of your office.”

Such letters were issued on the behalf of higher authorities of the department across the state, said sources.

A senior officer in the PSPCL said Vodafone SIM cards have been in use for the past some years and there was no network issue in general.
A large number of farmers and their supporters had replaced their Jio connections during the ongoing farm protest.

In Punjab, farmers have already been sitting on dharnas at petrol pumps and stores of Reliance claiming that the government, under the garb of its three farm laws, wants to give corporates more leeway in the farming sector, which would not be in favour of small and marginal farmers.

Chairman cum Managing Director PSPCL A Venu Prasad told The Indian Express that the SIM cards of employees were being changed because of the tender of Vodafone was over and new tenders were called in, in which three companies — Airtel, Vodafone and Reliance Jio — had participated.

“The rate of Reliance Jio was lowest as compared to other two companies as Reliance had quoted Rs 2.3 crore against Rs 2.92 crore of Vodafone, so there was a difference of Rs 62 lakh between the rates of two so we chose the lowest one,” he further said, adding that Jio was also offering several additional facilities.

Under the corporate connection, PSPCL employees get a certain amount of data free.

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