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State govt. seek additional 6-month for identity verification

Customers queing up admist the scrunity of police personnel at Cell City (Aircel) Dimapur. (NP)
Correspondent/Staff Reporter KOHIMA/DIMAPUR, JAN 18 (NPN):
Published on 19 Jan. 2011 12:40 AM IST
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Nagaland government on Monday issued a letter to the union ministry telecommunication seeking six months extension for the re-verification of identity of the mobile users in the state.
Disclosing this, state Chief Secretary, Lalthara said the items specified by the ministry for re-verification of identity of the mobile phone users such as- driving license and voters identity card was not common and popular in the state, for which the state government wanted the ministry to reconsider its earlier directive.
Further, he also maintained that such an exercise at such short notice was “humanly impossible for such a large number of mobile users”. He said it would not only affect the telecommunication sector in the country but business and revenue of the state exchequer.
20% SIM disconnected
Meanwhile, frantic rush across all SIM distribution centers and telecom head offices were reported in Dimapur and Kohima following direction from the Department of Telecommunication (DoT) on January 13 to re-verify all pre-paid SIM cards across Northeastern states on or before January 19, keeping in mind the sensitivity in the region. The DoT in the notification asked all pre-paid telecom subscribers to submit 4 passport copies along with identity proof and address proof to the telecom operators.
The re-verification process on Tuesday brought traffic in Dimapur almost to a grinding halt, with long traffic jams witnessed across the town not excluding the small by-lanes.
According to reliable sources, about 20% of prepaid SIM users have been disconnected on failure to submit the required documents and passport photos to the telecom operators in Kohima and Dimapur
Thousands of prepaid SIM users were seen hovering around the offices of BSNL, Aircel, Airtel, STel, Vodafone, Idea, Tata Indicom, Reliance etc., in Dimapur and Kohima for the last three days starting from January 15.
According to telecom sources, about 5000 SIM users in Vodafone office, more than 2000 in Airtel, about 4000-5000 in Aircel and 100 in STel offices were reported to have submitted their credentials till Tuesday evening.
Hundreds of new prepaid connections were issued , as a result of which stocks for new connections in many telecom operators ran out.

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