THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL) will not be known for its telecom operations alone anymore. As part of its diversification, the Civil Wing of the BSNL has started to undertake outside works.
Agreements were signed for various projects costing Rs 300 crore in Kerala to be completed in a year time.
After the announcement of diversification in 2010, Kerala is in the highest position in terms of revenue and number of works. Kerala was the first state which immediately started undertaking other works after its announcement.
Owing to the advancement in technology and paucity of funds, the workload of civil and electrical engineers had reduced in the telecom sector. It was at this juncture that the BSNL took the decision not to reduce the manpower, but to utilise it in another way, which had shown positive results in Kerala.
BSNL Chief Engineer (Civil) S Harikumar said that the Civil Wing was constituted for carrying out the works of telecom. Later, when the infrastructure of all the telecom units got stagnated, it has been decided to share the expertise to the outside world, he said. BSNL has already completed the works of two buildings of Institute of Human Resource Development (IHRD) in Kanhangad and Kottarakkara.
The building of the School of Behavioural Science of MG University and a block of Super Specialty Centre Hospital at Puthuppally also figure in the list of completed works.
Another major work entrusted to the BSNL is the renovation of 11 stadiums in the state at a cost of `110 crore before the commencement of National Games.
The works of Gulathi Institute of Finance Taxation, Anert, Rajiv Gandhi Aviation Academy, Intellectual Property Rights Insitute at Cusat and modernisation of treasuries were also entrusted to the BSNL.
According to S J Vijaya Das, executive civil engineer and coordinator of the outside works, the green building concept has also been undertaken by the civil wing. Several government offices are coming forward to implement the concept and already Anert and Gulathi Institute of Finance Taxation signed an agreement in this regard.
Harikumar said the BSNL provides end-to-end consultancy for projects such as design, architecture and supervision. The works will be awarded through tender either by the BSNL or the agency entrusting the works.
In the present circumstances, BSNL can go only for works costing `300 as the Civil Wing also looks after the maintenance of the existing structure of telecom. BSNL Kerala is planning to undertake construction activities to the tune of ` 500 crore in the coming years, he said.
BSNL has given direction to all the divisions to undertake outside work to justify the overall establishment cost of the Civil Wing.
It has also been informed that taking up external works on large scale has become a need of the hour as survival of BSNL Civil Wing depends on the amount of the external works undertaken.