Residents travel 100km to make phone call
ZARANJ (Pajhwok): Residents of the Chahar Burjak district of southwestern Nimroz province on Sunday said they had to travel nearly a hundred kilometers to make a phone call in the absence of telecom services in the town.
The town, the largest in Afghanistan, borders Iran and Pakistan. Its population is estimated at 27,000 individuals. The road that connects the district with the provincial capital is in rundown condition.
Residents say the major problem they face is the absence of telecom services. Suhrab, a resident, told Pajhwok Afghan News they had no option but to travel to Zaranj for making a phone call and pay 2,000 afghanis in transport fare.
He cited the lack of job opportunities, dirt roads and high transport fares other problems facing local residents.
Another dweller Mohammad Arif said: “I travelled on a dusty road to reach Zaranj in order to meet relatives. I paid 1,000 afghanis in fare and should pay the same to turn home.”
He said if telephone services were made available in the district, it would help locals save time and money.
Haji Mohammad, another resident of the district, said he spent two days in Zaranj while shopping.
“I was in Zaranj when one of my sons fell ill at home, but I could not contact my family because the town has no telephone facility. Then my wife took the ailing son here to Zaranj for treatment,” he said.
Mohammad said if telephone services were activated in the district, it would be a huge service to residents.
The district chief, Mohammad Nabi, said the government had tried to encourage private telecom services providers into installing towers in the district centre, but to no avail.
He added telephone services were available in other districts and residents and passengers could benefit from them.
A private telecom network official, wishing not to be named, said three antennas were required to extend mobile phone services to Chahar Burjak.
But only one of the proposed antennas would be used because the remaining two had to be installed in uninhibited areas, he said of the reason behind reluctance of private companies to extend services to the town.
“The installations would cost much than earnings from the fewer number of consumers using the service.”
But Roshan telecom company director in Nimroz said the company with support from the Telecommunication and Information Ministry would extend its services to Chahar Burjak.
He said it would take one or two months to install antennas and launch mobile phone services.
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