Locals deprived of telecom services in southern Bhojpur

BHOJPUR: As many as three rural municipalities still lack telecommunication services in the absence of regular power supply in southern Bhojpur.

Due to lack of electricity, towers installed in Hutawagadhi Rural Municipality, Aamchok Rural Municipality, and Ramprasad Rai Rural Municipality in the southern part of the district have not been able to provide telecommunication services to people living around the area. Telecommunication towers need electricity to transmit networks.

Local Ishwarman Rai said the problem was caused due to lack of electrical power and dependence on solar energy for network transmission. Mobile phones are the only means of communication in this area. Telecommunication towers powered through solar energy have been installed in the region but does not function efficiently all the time, especially during the night or on cloudy days, said Rai.

Nepal Telecom has been providing telecommunication services through solar panels in rural areas. However, the lack of electricity has created problems for the day-to-day communication of the locals. They complain that the signal goes off in the wee hours of the day and during night-time. "There's no way to know what is going on outside the village with absolutely no means of communication in our time of need."

With the aim of providing constant power supply and keeping in mind the problems of people living in the southern region, towers of Nepal Telecom were built in rural areas. "We are facing difficulties because the towers need to be installed at a high altitude and solar panels do not function properly in such altitude when the weather is cold or cloudy," said Ram Sevak Yadav, chief of Nepal Telecom, Bhojpur. Day-to-day functioning of the towers isn't affected during the day-time when it is sunny; however, in lack of electricity, it is difficult for people to receive services in the evening, he added.

As the telecom service has been so erratic, the local government has also taken an interest in this issue. Sabina Rai, a member of the District Coordination Committee, Bhojpur, said that no one should be deprived of a service as important as communication. "It is sad that locals cannot avail of their basic need for communication even after tower installations in the village," she added.

According to Nepal Telecom, Bhojpur, towers installed by the service provider at Hasanpur and Sindrang of Hutawagadhi Rural Municipality; Balankha and Dummana of Aamchok Rural Municipality; Basikhora and Baikunthe of Ramprasad Rai Rural Municipality in the district are running from solar energy. 

(Translated by Madhavi Marasini, Edited by Priyanka Adhikari)