Cell phones go dead as generators in service provider towers go empty of diesel

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IMPHAL, Oct 31: The recent seizure of petroleum products mainly diesel and petrol by state police as part of an anti-blackmarketing drive in different parts of the state has seriously affected the cellular services in the state.

The cellular networks of most of the major service providers have gone down during the past few days making the cellular services virtually collapse.

With the approaching festive season, the situation has become depressing, affecting lakhs of mobile users across the state.

Even as the Central government works on executing radiation checks emitted by towers which might be harmful to people, the public in Manipur has been left wondering how to contact their near and dear ones even as they go about their normal chores.

The state has been facing acute shortage of fuel for the last many months even as it recovers from the economic blockades called along national highways by some Naga bodies, followed by landslides which disrupted surface transport.

This has also led to inflation in consumer goods, disturbed the normal routine and has become a hot topic for discussion amongst many.

Grappling with issues such as non-availability and congestion of cell phone networks of companies such as Aircel, Airtel, Idea, Reliance, Tata Indicom and Vodafone, many were seen crowding outside the offices of these services provider.

Officials at these offices however were at a loss themselves to explain satisfactorily.

The solution to the problem however is simple. All it needs is for the cell phone towers to reopen is for petrol pumps to reopen. This however is not happening and ‘No-Fuel’ signs continue to greet consumers at every gas station.

Cell phone customers who stormed the service providers to complain/enquire returned as helpless and sorry for the collective predicament the state has been thrown into.

They however insisted the service providers to call in their senior officials to take charge of the situation. This request was complied and the officials said they would be forwarding the request to their head offices. The current service disruption is caused by protesting diesel vendors who refused to supply fuel for the tower generators.

Aircel, Vodaphone and Idea networks are the most severely affected. There are about 800 towers for the six mobile companies in the state and each requires about 20 liters of diesel per day.

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