utl service disruption

  • NTA seeks authority to initiate action
- SANJEEV GIRI, Kathmandu

Feb 25, 2015-

As United Telecom Limited (UTL) failed to resume its services citing workers’ strike, the Nepal Telecom-munications Authority (NTA) on Wednesday sought authority from the Ministry of Information and Communications to take necessary measures.

NTA had directed UTL on Monday to resume its services as per the contract agreement, which bars any operator from halting services for more than 24 hours.

UTL services have gone down for the last one week, with all of its 198 towers dysfunctional. The company provides different telecom services to around 600,000 customers in 44 districts.

NTA Chairman Digambar Jha said after the UTL management informed the regulator about its inability to resume the services due to

the strike, NTA wrote to the ministry informing about the situation and its impact on customers.

“Our concern is related to customers,” Jha said.

According to Jha, the UTL letter sent to NTA read: “We tried reinstating the service by taking technical support from the engineers of Huawei. But the agitators didn’t let us work. The situation is out of our control.”

Achyuta Nanda Mishra, deputy spokesperson for NTA, said further action would be taken based on the ministry’s response. He said NTA has not initiated any action so far as the Act suggests the regulator could either cancel the license or slap a fine.

“In both the cases, consumers would be hit and would not guarantee resumption of the services. That’s why we have taken the matter to the ministry,” he said. UTL CEO SP Pachauri expressed ignorance about the latest development.

The UTL chapter of the All Nepal Workers Union for Organisations and Financial Institutions has been organising protests putting forward a 14-point demand including salary hike by Rs 15,000 and roll back of the company’s decision to cut off 60 percent employees, which the management is unwilling to oblige.

The staffers say the lay-offs should not be done as the company is all set to acquire the unified license, but management says the number of employees is high.

 

Published: 26-02-2015 06:27

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