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The DOT and the central government have always been moving to share the infrastructure of BSNL for the benefit of the private telcos. Years back, DOT gave permission to private telecom companies to construct/install their towers on the BSNL buildings. It was defeated by the workers by blocking the private telecoms from entering the premises and strong protest from the unions.

Next, there was move to unbundle the valuable copper cable all over India and share it with the private operators. A complete strike was organised and the DOT was compelled to give a written assurance that there will be no unbundling and no disinvestment.

Now the government has decided to form the Tower company, which will cripple BSNL and its revenue. Further, once the company is formed, it will be independent and will take decisions which will be completely in the interest of the private companies. It will be just like the priority given to private airlines in the routes ignoring Air India, the PSU. BSNL will get the least benefit from the new Tower company, which will be at the behest of the private companies as per the direction of the government.

The story of the Arab and the Camel, where the former was completely kicked out of the tent by the latter, will be the result. The united force of the workers saved our copper cables and in the same way we should be able to save our towers.

The decision of all the unions/associations to meet on 15th and discuss the issue and plan the course of action is timely. The government move to form the Tower Company should defeated at the initial stage itself.

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