Fazilka, June 11
Bharat Sanchar Nigam Ltd. (BSNL) has decided to provide free pre-paid mobile connections to the rickshaw pullers (Ecocab owners) in Fazilka to provide rickshaw facility to the residents of this border town on call.
These rickshaw pullers would be able to talk to each other on these mobile numbers free of cost. Nine hundred mobile connections would be provided here under the Close User Group (CUG) plan soon.On the initiative of the Graduate Welfare Association (GWAF), Fazilka, the first of its kind dial-a-rickshaw service finally got its telecom partner.
An official communication in this regard was received by the GWAF office-bearers on Friday. Under the scheme, for the first time in the country, any telecom operator has extended the "Close User Group" (CUG) plans on pre-paid mobile connections.
Under the plan, a free SIM with lifetime validity will be provided to the Ecocab operators. In Fazilka, zone-wise all eco-cab operators have been registered and given three digit registration numbers by the GWAF.
Another significant aspect of the plan is that each ecocab operator shall have the last three digit of their mobile number same as their ecocab registration numbers. Notably, BSNL has waived the Rs 60 per month rent charges on CUG also along with providing them free SIM.
"It took one year to pursue with the telecom partner the concept with such elaborate but simple benefit to Ecocab operators and this is a surprising gift to the Ecocab operators on the occasion of the third ecocab anniversary, which shall be observed on June 20 in Fazilka," said Navdeep Asija, Secretary GWAF.
The organized structure of the ecocabs via mobile numbers would also help get the facility of Ecocab Dial - a rickshaw through a self-regulated mode, in a better way. "We faced many problems with private telecom operators during the three years of our operations at Fazilka, unwanted tariff, caller tunes and other facility under which they used to deduct money from poor ecocab operator's account. With the association with BSNL, our Ecocab operators will be able to get free extended benefit, like free calling within CUG and lifetime validity without paying anything," said Dr Bhupinder Singh, patron, GWAF.
"BSNL is happy to extend such plan to Ecocab operators and to associate with such unique and environment-friendly concept and we look forward to extending it to the other cities of Punjab as well," said Mr Sandeep Diwan, General Manager (Enterprise Business), Punjab Circle, BSNL.
The scheme is expected to benefit over three lakh families of rickshaw pullers.