Taking notice of the poor service by the Pakistan Telecommunication Company Limited (PTCL) to the subscribers, a Supreme Court bench headed by Justice Khalilur Rehman Ramday called for the appearance of Chief Technical Officer (CTO) Muhammad Nasrullah and the PTCL chief legal manager on May 18 next.
Also comprising Justice Fakir Muhammad Khokhar, the bench looked with concern at the PTCL slow attendance to the consumers sufferings and late its awakening to the need of getting power generators in order to keep the batteries in working order round the clock to fend off incessant line droppings.
The Court was hearing a human right complaint emanated from a press column of Irshad Ahmad Haqqani published some two months ago grousing about the poor telephone services, provided by the PTCL. Following the Court direction, Regional General Manager Rasheed Ahmad and other officials appeared and described to the court loadshedding as basic reason for line droppings as the batteries operating the system fail due to non-supply of electricity. Lack of coordination between the departments was told to the court another reason for the said problems. The GM said Wasa during roads digging cuts off the telephone lines without apprising the company in this regard. He said they have recently gone in for the generators to provide continuous supply of power to the batteries.
Justice Ramday took this statement very seriously in the context that more than a year had gone since load-shedding was continuing and a layman knew that once energy of a battery gets exhausted, it needs recharging and the department had become alive to this fact and need of purchasing the generators so late at the cost of heavy troubles to the subscribers. The judge remarked does this fact call for indulgence of this court to look into the very privatisation of the PTCL after which such a situation has cropped up.
Justice Ramday asked, for what the company gets money from the subscribers if it was unable to provide the promised service to them. He said if loadshedding is affecting the service it is responsibility of the department to overcome it and not to let the subscribers suffer for that. The Judge said the department has been sleeping over the matter and could get up just a week back when it purchased the generators. He said if you cannot provide due service to the people, you had better pack up and go. The Court wanted the officers to take initiative measures to overcome problems within this month but they requested for more time for which the court felt reluctant. However, in order to appraise the situation fully, the court called for the appearance of Chief Technical Officer and Principal Law Officer of the PTCL on May 18.