Internet and voice call services of Mahanagar Telephone Nigam Limited (MTNL) were disrupted for the past few days in Vasant Kunj after six men tried to steal telephone cables near the area on Friday.
The theft has reportedly hit services of the state-owned telecommunication service provider in all the residential blocks of Vasant Kunj.
Police said six men dug a pavement on Friday to steal underground MTNL cables. “They used a crane to remove the metal lid, which covers the maintenance hole on the pavement. Then they dug the surface deep enough to reach the cables. They took away cables worth Rs 5 lakh to sell the copper wires,” a police officer said.
Soon after, MTNL detected the fault and informed police about the theft. Police caught three men on Friday night and conducted raids to nab the others.
“The three absconding men and the owner of the crane were arrested over the past two days,” the officer said.
The theft left MTNL users without Internet connectivity. “Since mobile phones can be used for voice calls, the Internet disruption has caused inconvenience to us. The entire area has no MTNL connectivity,” Sulekha Lal, a Vasant Kunj resident, said.
The authorities claimed that only 1,000 telephone lines have faced the outage.
Several residents alleged that MTNL officials didn’t pay heed to their calls for help. “They kept assuring that the service will resume in a day or two. The problem persisted even on Wednesday,” Lal said.
MTNL chairman-cum-managing director A K Garg said the service would be back to normal in the next couple of days. “Repairs are almost complete. By Wednesday afternoon, service returned to normal in almost half of the affected households. The remaining telephone lines will be repaired in the next 48 hours,” he said.