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Day II: BSNL fails to connect
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 1
BSNL today put into service more than 150 officials to repair the exchange which was burnt yesterday in a major fire. While till late today around 80 per cent of mobile connections had been restored, the rest of the services like banking, internet etc were still paralysed.

“The most hit are the telephone connections in Sector 1-26. The exchange was catering to these sectors. The mobile connectivity in southern sectors has been restored. We are hoping the northern sectors will be functional soon too,” stated Naresh Sharma, general manager, BSNL.

The BSNL dug into resources from its various units. Engineers from Jalandhar, Jaipur, Delhi and Ludhiana have already arrived on the spot to try and restore the exchange. Equipment for repair has also been called in from various units.

The extent of the damage, officials informed would be known only after the exchanges were revived. The process of their revival was on till late tonight. The officials stated that repair work would be undertaken all night. “We will be working through the night. We hope the situation to change by morning,” said Sharma.

Credit card users had a difficult time as their cards were rejected at some restaurants and petrol stations. The emergency numbers of various hospitals, ambulance services and emergency services were non-functional even for a second day today.

Meanwhile, a few landlines were restored by bypassing the lines to the Sector 17 exchange from outside to other exchanges by late today evening.

However, officials did not expect the railway reservation, banking services, internet and ATM services to function before tomorrow evening. “It will take time. We hope things will improve by tomorrow,” stated D.R. Paul, principal general manager, BSNL.

Officials estimated the loss due to the fire to run into lakhs of rupees. “We will estimate losses only after we restore services,” stated Sharma.

Officials, meanwhile, had no answers as to why they had no back-up in case of such a disaster. “We have a back-up plan for outside network, but not for the local. We do undertake fire drills but what can one do in case no one is there,” stated Sharma.

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