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Help BSNL disconnects services to Airtel, Vodafone in Punjab

CHANDIGARH: State-owned telecom company BSNL on Thursday disconnected services to two major operators, Airtel and Vodafone, in the Punjab circle, leading to some disruption in land line and mobile calls in the state and in Panchkula area of Haryana.

"We have disconnected our services to Airtel and Vodafone because of non-payment of dues for providing inter- connectivity between mobile and fixed landline phones," a senior BSNL official said here.

When contacted the customer care department of Airtel said the services to BSNL landline numbers in the state were disrupted as the BSNL had discontinued their connectivity due to "some issue."

According to the BSNL official, an amount of Rs 5.97 crore and Rs 2.16 crore was outstanding towards Airtel and Vodafone, respectively, in the shape of interconnect user charges (IUC) for the period between April 2009 and August 2011.

"Several notices were sent to both Airtel and Vodafone to pay the charges but the telecom operators did not pay any heed," he said.

The Cellular Operators Association (COAI), a lobby group of telecom operators, in a statement said BSNL went ahead and disconnected services to private operators in Punjab without concerns for customer needs.

"Meetings held with CMD of BSNL to resolve the issue remained futile and BSNL has refused to withdraw its notice to disconnect the private operators, even after private operators pointed out that the amount claimed by BSNL that is Rs 165.62 crore at pan-India level, is erroneous, inflated and not in consonance with the Trai's IUC regulations," it added.
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