Mobile phone jammers in the high-security Nabha Central Jail to detect and prevent use of mobile phones by prisoners have disrupted services in colonies nearby.
The jail department had installed six jammers after mobile phones and SIM cards were seized from several inmates.
Two days after jammers became functional, mobile subscribers living in the vicinity of the jail started facing network problems. Staff living in the jail premises too faced similar problems.
Officials working in the cattle semen bank close to the jail could not contact their superiors during working hours or keep in touch with their families.
"The problem started occurring in the past two days when jammers were installed," an official of the bank said. "It has become difficult to contact colleagues. Moreover, higher authorities can call us only on the landline number, which anyway remains out of order most of the time."
He said the jail authorities should change the range and frequency of the jammers so that mobile signals of subscribers near the jails were not affected.
Manpreet Singh, a resident of Exta Colony nearby, said they had to go outside the range of the jammers to make important calls. "In case of emergency, we will have no alternative," he added.
Deputy jail superintendent Amrik Singh said the authorities were aware of the problem. The range of the jammers is from 200 to 500 metres and frequencies vary accordingly.
"We have called in the engineers, who installed the jammers, to resolve the problem so that their range and frequency are limited only to the jail and do not mess with mobile signals outside the premises," Amrik said.
Earlier too, jammers were installed as a pilot project and the same problem was witnessed.