BharatNet's poor implementation: Telecom Secy reprimands CMDs of BBNL, BSNL

The Department of Telecommunications (DoT) has come down heavily on the two implementing agencies -- public- owned Bharat Broadband Network Limited (BBNL) and BSNL of Prime Minister Narendra Modi's pet Digital India project of BharatNet -- for failing to operationalise, maintain and optimise the pan India network. 

In a letter to BBNL and BSNL chairmen and MDs (Seen by FC) -- Sanjay Singh and Anupam Shrivastava respectively --  telecom secretary Aruna Sundararajan said that disciplinary actions would be taken against officials responsible and attributed "lack of professionalism" on the part of two public sector companies and displeased with their lack of coordination to work together in sync for the high profile project. 
Despite fortnightly/weekly reviews for the last two years at my level, it is observed that there is an unprofessional shirking of responsibility; along with inability to resolve on-field problems and inter organisational issues between BBNL and BSNL,” Telecom Secretary Aruna Sundararajan said in a letter dated November 2 to both the CMDs. 

The letter stated "As of October 2018, 1.15 lakh gram panchayats were service-ready. However, extensive field reports have been received regarding non-functioning at 80-90 per cent of the gram panchayats as well as massive under utilisation/non utilisation of Bharat Net infrastructure. Though clear utilisation targets have already been set, the actual utilisation on ground is understood to be less than 10 per cent of the target,” she said. Just to ensure this inability to work together and rectify the problems instead of blaming one another did not continue, she instructed that a progress report jointly signed by the CMDs of the two firms be submitted to her office everyday in the evening, beginning November 5.
The report should include State-wise status of all gram panchayats, details of all non-operational gram panchayats, duration and reason of faults as well as corrective action and time taken to repair. Additionally, Sundararajan has instructed that all non-operational gram panchayats are to be made operational in 48 hours, and disciplinary action would be initiated against officers in case fault rectification is delayed.
In the letter addressed to BSNL CMD Anupam Srivastava and BBNL CMD Sanjay Singh, she warned that “failure to comply with or disregard of these instructions shall invite exemplary disciplinary action”.
The secretary has expressed serious displeasure with the CMDs of BSNL and BBNL over their failure to address the problem of maintenance and fault repairs.
"The failure of both CMD, BSNL and CMD, BBNL to resolve the issues impending utilisation of BharatNet and to put in place an effective O&M arrangement is viewed with extreme displeasure . This note is intended to serve as a warning to both the organisations and the officers in chargeto ensure that this important project as well as the huge investments being made ion the infrastructure with public money are not allowed to go in vain"  , Sundararajan said.