BSNL telecom exchange fire cripples services in Karimnagar district

KARIMNAGAR:  The telecommunications, internet, banking, e-governance and several other facilities were crippled in the entire integrated Karimnagar district and adjoining districts after a fire mishap took place in the BSNL main telephone exchange on Wednesday late night.

Thousands of people using the internet and BSNL mobile and telephone lines complained their phones were not working since Wednesday night. Over three lakhs of mobile users and several thousands of landline (FTTH for broadband) numbers were affected in the entire erstwhile Karimnagar district after the fire at the telephone exchange building damaged the equipment. The fire is believed to have been caused by an electrical short circuit.

The banking transactions were badly affected, with local branches of nationalised, cooperative and private banks unable to link with their servers. Even the automated teller machines (ATMs) were not functioning. As some of the banks were having alternate arrangements, they were providing services to the customers.

It is learnt that the fire engulfed the exchange on Wednesday and gutted precious telecommunications equipment worth around Rs 2 crore. The BSNL authorities rushed to the spot on Thursday and took measures for the restoration of telecommunications and internet services. The telecom and internet services are likely to be restored by Thursday evening.

Sources said that the equipment was being bought from Hyderabad for installation and to restore the communication network temporarily. The complete restoration work would take at least three days. The sources said that the exchange did not have fire extinguishing equipment such as sprinklers and smoke alarms to alert the authorities concerned.



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