The TN state election department owes BSRR Rs 1.86 crore for two years

Chennai: Tamil Nadu State The Electoral Commission has breached the bills worth Rs 1.86 million for the besieged Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited ( BSNL ) for more than two years, compared to the standard of payment of the usual 45-day billing cycle.

We are stuck with membership fee from the State elections department worth 1.86 crore for over two years now. I have written a letter to the chief electoral officer, and will now engage in talks with them to clarify any dispute on the bills. And shortage of fund has led to non-payment of refund worth 3 crore to our customers on time,” P Santhosham, chief general manager of BSNL - Chennai circle, told TOI.

The state-run BSNL has defaulted with non-payment of refundable deposits worth 3 crore to its subscribers for a year now due to the financial crunch.

The Chennai circle of BSNL had bagged the business from State elections department, however, the service was provided by both – Chennai circle and Tamil Nadu circle - for the Tamil Nadu state assembly elections in 2016.

The telecom operator said, we had received a business deal worth 10 crore from the State elections department, of which all payments are made except this 1.86 crore. “I will look into the issue (of non-payment or delayed payment of bills to BSNL ),” Tamil Nadu Chief Electoral Officer Satyabrata Sahoo told TOI. According to sources, the various departments of the state government owe 13 crore to BSNL . Non-Government subscribers owe the Chennai BSNL circle 86 lakh.

Speaking on the current financial situation, Santhosham, said, “It cost us 3 core for the restoration of Harbour Exchange, which was burned down in Chennai. We were able to rebuild a new exchange in a very short period of time only after settling old membership fee of 30 lakh to our vendors. However, we are yet to make the payment to our vendors for this new expense.”

BSNL Chennai Circle (Tamil Nadu) claims its collection rate of 98.83% was among the best followed by Andhra Pradesh and Rajasthan units of the telecom company.

(With B Sivakumar tickets)