Telecom Factory Alipore, Calcutta was the first telecom manufacturing factory in India, started by the British in the last decades of 19th century. TF Jabalpur was founded during II world war by transferring a portion of TF Calcutta, under threat of Japanese attack. The TFs at Bombay, Richai, Bhilai, Gopalpur and Kharagpur were started later in order to cater to the need of the ever increasing demand for telecom equipment. Telecom Stores were also opened nearby places to enable storing and supply of the equipments etc.

The Telecom Factories at Alipur, Gopalpur and Kharagpur was one Telecom Circle. Jabalpur, Richai and Bhilai was another circle. Bombay TF, the third circle. Telecom Stores was a separate Circle.

All these circles together had about more than 10,000 workers. A separate union for the P&T Industrial Workers were also there led by veteran leader Com. Sisir Bhattacharjee, which was one of the founder union of BSNL Employees Union in 2000.

The workers in all these units were reduced due to retirement and non-recruitment. The work in factories were shifted to private companies as part of neo- liberalisation policy. BSNLEU put all out efforts for revival of TFs, but the govt and DOT continued their negative policy.

Now, all these Telecom Factories Circles have been merged with the respective territorial telecom circles like W.Bengal, Maharashtra and M.P. Telecom Stores Circle has already been merged with territorial circle earlier.

All telegraph offices, which were the communication nerve centres of govt, both British and Indian for a long time, were closed a few years back, despite strong opposition from BSNLEU, on the plea that since mobile services started, the telegraph services has become superfluous.

Telecom Factories are to be modernised and enlarged to manufacture equipment required for the present telecom services with required staff instead of discontinuing and destroying the same. Now TFs’ circle status only has been stopped and it needs to be ensured that they are modernised and not closed as telegraph services.