One more attack on BSNL from the Government.
The DOT has issued orders on 21st June 2019 intimating its decision to take over Advanced Level Telecom Training Centre (ALTTC) campus,Ghaziabad, the prime institution for telecom advanced training and also an institution declared as “Centre of Excellence” by International Telecom Union (ITU). This is being done on the plea of establishing National Telecommunication Institute for Policy Research, Innovation and Training (NTIPRIT). The take over process is on the line.
The first point is that NTIPRIT is already working in the ALTTC campus and two floors in the Administrative building in the campus are allotted to it. Other critical installations like INMARSAT, ISRO GSAT Gateway, ERP Center etc. are also working in the campus. For the functioning of NTIPRIT, it is not at all necessary to take over the entire campus, which is the property of BSNL and which is utilised by ALTTC and other prime institutions. This is only a carefully devised plan to divest BSNL of this prime asset.
Let us understand what is ALTTC? It is one of the two advanced level telecom training centres of BSNL, the other being the BRABRAIT at Jabalpur. ALTTC gives various training to the top officers and Engineers of BSNL. It is also conducting special courses for various institutions regularly and earning money for BSNL. In the Financial year 2017-18, it organised 595 courses with a total number of 8078 trainees with a total number of 68538 dys. In 2018-19, the courses increased to 595, trainees to 11145 and the days to 96405. BSNL is earning good amount through these training courses.
Why the government is taking over this prime campus, which has been functioning extremely well all these years? It is mainly to capture the assets of BSNL. The entire campus is about 80 acres which will be worth about Rs. 4,856 crores @ moderate rate of Rs. 1,50,000 per sqm, in the heart of Ghaziabad-Delhi. The cost of the several buildings in the campus including the three hostels etc will come to about Rs. 190 crore. Cost of laboratories, movable assets etc. will come to many crores. It is these valuable assets that the government want to take over arbitrarily.
It is to be mentioned that most of the assets throughout the country have not been transferred to BSNL, despite decision for the same in 2000 at the time of formation of BSNL. Inspite of strong demand from the BSNL and the Unions in BSNL, this is not implemented. In the meanwhile, government is taking over many buildings, which are with BSNL. The heritage CTO building in Bengaluru is already taken by Govt. for accommodation of TRAI, Many such buildings have been confiscated by the govt. The latest is the ALTTC.
BSNL is struggling to survive and improve. The stiff competition and the favouritism to the private companies, pro-PSU policy are some of the reasons. Now BSNL has requested DOT to hand over all the assets due to it from the government for monetisation etc. for improving financial position. It is at this time, that even the existing assets are forcibly taken over by Govt.
We express our strong protest against this attack on the BSNL and demand that the decision to take over the ALTTC campus by govt should be withdrawn.