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PGI, Punjab CM office phones go dead as thieves decamp with 800m cable

Landline phones and internet services in PGI, residence of Punjab and Haryana chief ministers, UT secretariat, Punjab Police control room, offices located in Sector 9 and residential areas of Sectors 2, 3, 11 and 12 have gone dead.

punjab Updated: Aug 20, 2017 16:24 IST
Tanbir Dhaliwal
Tanbir Dhaliwal
Hindustan Times, Chandigarh
PGI,Punjab CM,office phones dead
BSNL employees examining the duct from where cables were stolen in Sector 9, Chandigarh, on Saturday.(HT Photo)

They broke seals and locks of five manholes, entered a 200-metre-long duct and stole four cables of the Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL) in the wee hours of Saturday, disrupting telephone services of over 1,600 subscribers.

Landline phones and internet services in the Post Graduate Institute of Medical Education and Research (PGIMER), residence of Punjab and Haryana chief ministers, UT secretariat, Punjab Police control room, offices located in Sector 9 and residential areas of Sectors 2, 3, 11 and 12 have gone dead.

We couldn’t fix the cables as water entered the ducts due to heavy rain. We will lodge a complaint with the police on Sunday.

BSNL deputy general manager Jatinder Mahajan said: “We came to know about the theft after getting a call from a cellphone number from Punjab Police control room saying that the phones were not working.”

“There is a 200-meter duct on the main road of Sector 9. It has five sealed manholes, from which technicians access the duct to fix lines. There are five sealed locks as well. The thieves decamped with 800 metres of cable,” said Mahajan, adding that two cables had 1,200 pairs and the other two had 800 pairs.

“It must have taken four-five hours for at least 15-20 people to cut and flee with the cables. The wires are heavy and stealing them is a tedious and time-consuming,” he said. The cables must have been transported in a tractor-trailer or a truck, he added.

The BSNL has done a temporary arrangement for the Punjab Police control room and the connections have been given through fibre cables, said Mahajan, adding that connections in the PGIMER will be restored by Sunday.

“We couldn’t fix the cables as water had entered the ducts due to heavy rain. We will lodge a complaint with the police on Sunday after assessing the loss,” he said.

WHERE WAS THE POLICE?

“Where was the police when the theft took place? It must have taken thieves at least four hours to take out the cables in the posh sector of the city,” said the BSNL official, adding that was there no one on night patrolling in the area?

‘NEED 4-5 DAYS TO FIX LINES’

The official said that even if they work on a war footing, it will take four-five days to fix the snapped lines. “It’s a complicated process, wherein we will have to pull the wires and make joints,” said Mahajan, adding that temporary arrangements are being made.

First Published: Aug 20, 2017 15:20 IST