Telecom services across the country are expected to be hit following BSNL employees' indefinite strike from Wednesday, demanding immediate placement of equipment orders for expansion of its mobile network.
"Strike started at 0600 hours. Workers of all the associations, unions are unitedly on strike. The strike is a complete success," VAN Namboodiri, joint convener of BSNL and MTNL employees forum, said.
BSNL has 3.5 crore fixed lines and 2.4 crore mobile subscribers and is the largest telecom operator with operations in regions except Mumbai and Delhi.
The employees went ahead with their decision to go on strike following failure of its talks with the company management, Telecom Minister A Raja and Department of Telecom.
The Union wanted a written assurance from DoT that its demands of placing the contract for laying 45.5 million GSM lines should be placed to the selected vendors.
But the DoT letter did not seem to have lived up to the expectation of the union as it apparently did not mention two crucial issues -- that BSNL should go for 3G network and immediate placement of order for 45.5 million lines.
The employees are likely to hold a meeting with Raja today along with the top brass of BSNL and DoT secretary.
The problem of the PSU is expected to be compounded with this strike as it struggles to increase its GSM capacity through tenders which has been mired in controversies and delays.