Two months after Bandra fire, 1,500 MTNL landline services yet to be restored

Updated: Sep 23, 2019, 07:33 IST | Arita Sarkar

MTNL says it will need another week

Smoke billows from the MTNL building covering the skyline around Bandra fire station. Pic/Nimesh Dave
Smoke billows from the MTNL building covering the skyline around Bandra fire station. Pic/Nimesh Dave

Two months after a major fire broke out in the MTNL building in Bandra West, around 1,500 landline services are yet to be restored. The fire had damaged 15,000 landline connections. The fire had broken out on the second floor of the building and spread to the upper floors on July 22. As many as 84 employees had been rescued from the terrace of the building.

Due to the damage, customers from Bandra, Khar and certain parts of BKC weren't able to use their landlines. The Bharat Gas office near Bandra Talao was among the services that rely on landline numbers to book a cylinder. "Both our landline numbers have been down since the fire. We have complained but it hasn't been fixed yet. Many customers have come to the office to book another cylinder," said an employee.

"New telephone exchanges have been set up and some connections have been diverted to other exchanges. While one of the telephone exchanges has been fixed, for the other one, around 5,000 connections have been restored while 1,500 are pending," said Sanjay Khare, GM (West I) of MTNL. He added that work on the remaining connections will be completed by the end of this week.

The MTNL administration had ignored warnings regarding a defunct fire fighting system and fire detection system issued by the fire department. A senior fire official said that they had issued a notice asking MTNL to comply with fire safety norms. Khare said that due to some procedural delays, they are yet to start work on the fire detection system. "This is a public sector building and these things take time. We will start the work on the fire detection system in the next 10-15 days," he said.

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