Cellphone woes in Biratnagar

Shekhar Regmi

Biratnagar, January 15:

Cellular phone users of Nepal Telecom Company (NTC) in Koshi region are facing problems because of some technical difficulties in the service. Consumers complained that a technical error made some of them pay as much as Rs 20 for a local call. They said they had to face abrupt disconnections while receiving calls.

A user, Kishor Mallik stated the problem with the service was that he could not hear anything form the other end when he picked up the phone. “I have picked up the phone up to ten times making a bill for one call at Rs 20”. Conceding to the problem, NTC said its technicians were trying to identify the problem. The NTC, Biratnagar chief, Dev Narayan Yadav assured that the problem would be solved soon. Users are enraged for being unable to use the service when they required it and also at the problem of disconnection for over a month. Rabin Ojha, a user, complained that of unavailability of the circuit when needed and no sound of callers being heard while receiving calls. Another user, Pravin Joshi said, the mobile phone service was as good as non-existent.

The NTC assumed that the lack of circuit could have created difficulty in hearing voice on the phone. It has, so far, distributed 12,000 lines in Biratnagar and Dharan. NTC said lack of enough sub-stations could have contributed to the problem. Yadav informed that NTC was constructing three sub-stations, two in Biratnagar and one in Dharan, to do away with the existing problems. It promised that once work in these two areas are completed, the problem would be solved. New sub-stations are being constructed at Janapath and Pokhariya of Biratnagar and BP Koirala Institute of Health Sciences premises at Dharan.

The NTC said that after the completion of sub-station work, it would be distributing another 10,000 pre-paid lines. It said although it had planned to distribute new lines in Mangsir, it had now decided to delay it because of the circuit problem.