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Irregularities in BSNL payments for diesel, labor being probed

Investigating agencies are probing irregularities at Bharat Sanchar Nigam Ltd in the payment of daily wages and in purchase of diesel for mobile towers in three states, the ministry of IT and communications said in a statement.

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The states where the irregularities have come to notice are Bihar, Karnataka and Punjab, the ministry said.

“In Karnataka Circle, an investigation was carried out on a complaint regarding irregularities in payment for diesel and the matter is subjudice,” the ministry said. In another case in Karnataka, contract labourers of Bidar switching area complained that they were being paid less than the minimum wages fixed by Labour Department and their grievances have been lodged before Labour Court, Gulbarga, Karnataka, it added.

In Bihar, two complaints regarding irregularities in purchase of diesel in Bhagalpur and Betia Secondary Switching Areas (SSAs) are under investigation, while in Punjab, a complaint regarding payment of wages to labourers is under investigation in Ludhiana SSA.

BSNL uses daily laborers for digging and other purposes. It also owns one of the biggest mobile networks in the country, which is run on diesel in areas where mains supply is unavailable or unreliable. The state-owned company has been hit by widespread losses due to competition from private players.

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