By Shyam Waikhom
IMPHAL, December 23: In this age of communication, where people all over the world have been making positive strides towards development, residents of Khoupum valley are facing abject communication problems.
In this scientific world, where the internet has made everything simpler and the world is considered a small village, communication networks in Khoupum valley remains pitiable, which is really unfortunate.
The valley has only one Base Trans-receiver Stations (BTS) tower of the BSNL, which also functions with a fixed timings, which is providing service to around 10000 population spread across 30 villages in the valley area.
The lone tower is erected at Gaijinlong Village and functioning with only three busters since January 12, 2012.
The problem is not only about a single tower, but it is also compounded by the sorry state of electricity supply.
People lamented that the only tower is run by diesel generator since the month of June, 2012.
They said, the tower was commissioned in January 2012, however a few months later in June, the generator broke down resulting in the tower remaining non-functional, resulting in the total failure of communication networks in the entire valley.
The diesel generator was repaired only this year in November, they lamented.
The villagers also lamented that the generator is used to run the tower due to bad power supply.
Power supplied in a year is countable, said a villager.
However, much to the astonishment of the villagers, ever since the generator has been fixed, the tower is run providing network signal only during a particular fixed timing in a day, in between 6 – 10 am and from 5 – 8 pm, continued another disgruntled villager.
The allocation of diesel for the generator is also done through the Army who is now monitoring the generator of the tower, continued another villager.
Now since there are only three boosters covering the entire valley, even when the tower is operational, the network cannot be connected at most time due to network overload.
People need to dial continuously before getting connection, which is a real problem in case of emergency.
Co-convenor of the ZSUKA said that the student’s body has submitted several written complaints to the concerned authorities of BSNL to upgrade the tower with more busters, so that the problem may be reduced to some extent.
However, even after assurances from the authorities, there have been no official arriving at the location of the tower to implement the upgrading of the tower, he continued.
Khoupum does not have enough power supply and locals had urged the BSNL to provide solar plate facilities for uninterrupted power supply to the tower, he said.
He further lamented that it is very unlucky for the people of the valley that not even a single private company has taken or shown interest to install a tower at or extend their network to the area.
He further questioned the reasons for the negligence meted out to the people of the area.
However, he also added sheepishly that the bad road condition and the security point of view might be detrimental to the interest of the private companies in extending to the area.