A complete bandh was observed in Leh town on Wednesday against the 'poor' service of Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL).
All commercial establishments were closed, which resulted in some inconvenience for the tourists.
"About two years back we had a meeting about the issue with the union telecom minister Kapil Sibal. The minister had also issued direction but even then the BSNL officials in the state didn't take it seriously," said Rigzin Spalbar, chief executive councillor (CEC) Ladakh Autonomous Hill Development Council (LAHDC) Leh.
BSNL provides service to about one-lakh mobile users in Leh.
The mobile switching centre (MSC) - which receives and routes calls - in Leh was severely damaged during August 2010 flash flood. The system was partially restored in September 2010 but the centre was not put in place, and as of now, calls are routed through MSC at Srinagar resulting in poor service.
Locals have complained that due to BSNL's weak service for the last two years, they have been forced to buy another mobile connection from private service providers.
LAHDC had last month written to the union telecom ministry about BSNL's poor service but no action has been taken.
"A large number of tourists, which includes a sizeable number of foreign tourists, come here and they consistently complain about poor mobile service. This sends wrong impression of the state and the nation," said CEC.
"Since every call has to be routed through MSC in Srinagar, services get affected. We have asked for early replacement of infrastructure and hope it will be done shortly," said sub-divisional engineer BSNL, Leh, Tsering Angchuk.
According to local BSNL officials, private players are providing better services because their customers are relatively less in number and most of their calls are local, which they can handle with the locally installed infrastructure.
The internet service also gets affected due to the damage caused to the optical fibre cable - running from Srinagar - because of heavy snowfall, and landslides at Zojila pass where construction activity for tunnel has also started.
According to sources, with consistent complaints and mounting pressure, senior BSNL officials at Jammu have decided to shift Jammu's MSC to Leh, which is likely to get installed in a couple of days.