Posted by: odzer | August 13, 2008

Calling Arunachal Pradesh

The not so well connected state of arunachal pradesh

The not so well connected state of arunachal pradesh

So this out of sight, out of mind sort of place in the north east is what I have been trying to call up for the last 4 months. A close friend of mine has moved to Arunachal to a place called Tenzingang near Bomdila in the not so great state of Arunachal Pradesh. Of course there is no mobile network coverage where he lives though it is quite a large settlement of people. Every time I call his office phone (the fellow has no landline phone at his home) the phone call either does not go through at all or I get this message “All the lines to this route are presently out of order” which is very honest but it does not help me. Not that it is any better from his side, he has to actually travel quite a distance to call me as well! Of course he always complains that I never call him though he has a perfectly functional office phone.

So where is Arunachal on the information highway? This has left me wondering. If they do not even have functional telephones yet how can they have Internet? Why does a state that our government in Delhi claims to have such a deep affection for have no working phones? What if China invades? They won’t even be able to call for help! He he he. Does not the government here scramble each time China claims Arunachal? Tsk tsk!

I guess I will just have to deal with the fact that I may not get to talk with my friend as long as he is posted in the wilderness that is the North-East of India. Oh and there is no private phone company where he is either so should I blame the government alone….


  1. Sad isn’t it. States in the north east have been neglected, and it looks like there has been no improvement. But this place where he is staying, is it a big town or a village? That will matter.

  2. Nita, you are right it does matter but when I compare Arunachal with Punjab even dusty villages here seem to have network access. North east is in a bad shape telecom wise. Consider Manipur another place that I call often, the SMS never ever goes through. Calls do but its often like playing roulette. I am now talking about calling Imphal which is supposed to be their grand city or national capital or something. Compare with calling Ladakh another place that is supposed to be “remote” I can easily get through and even send SMS when 10 years ago it was even impossible to make a land line call without paying an arm and a leg for calling LEH which the locals so cutely say is an abbreviation for Life Ends Here. Sigh! May be I just need more “mainstream” friends. 🙂

  3. I guess its RXXXX who is there….how long is his post there?

  4. Yes it is him indeed and I do not know how long he is there for. Seems like an eternal exile for now….

  5. Ignorodger,

    how do you expect good cell connection in NE when till few years back the CENTRE BANNED cellphone for ‘ security concerns’ while the rest of India was enjoying the benefit for a decade??
    roaming facility to and from NE to rest of India is STILL banned by our loving caring Govt of India FYI.

    forget about cells, there are still Subdivisional headquarters in arunachal still without roads!! Meaning, you will have to trek on foot over mountains for days to reach it, not even roads for bikes or jeeps. The Indian govt had banned raods in this area–to prevent chinese conquest! so much for Indian ‘ love’ .

  6. Oh well I was being sarcastic about the love part. Not all that I always write is literal. Well since they have banned roads, trek I will have to because I plan to go there one day. Damn the government buggers can’t they do anything right! May be I should just get my friend to buy some homer pigeons that may solve our communication problems after all!

  7. I am so sorry for odzer! We have no electricity, no good landline phone connection. mobile is far off! we are living in 19 century. But the govt. is making good progress. the policies are so nice. Shine India shine.

    WE have no good road connected to where i live. But the place is beautiful. We grow apple, kiwi and many vegetables. Surprisingly we are not getting any help from the state govt. India is very helpful for giving us the best piece of land.

    mmmm…. i m thinking of keeping a pigeon to send letters to all my friends out there.

    Jai Arunachal, Jai India

  8. It is hard to feel that unloved. Perhaps you should indeed keep those pigeons. As for your Apples and Kiwi’s what good are those without the roads to sell them? Without a fax machine to receive the orders? Without E-mail…..

  9. Hi Odzer, greetings from Itanagar, Arunachal. Now you know (I mean the entire netizens – Indians and Chinese included) the extent of apathy shown by the successive central government of India towards Arunachal in particular and NE in general. It is believed the GoI was reluctant to invest money for development in the state earlier as they feared Chinese snatching it (Arunachal) away anytime and thus wasting their money. This was a folly for which entire populace of Arunachal was suffering. Time has changed, mindset of GoI has changed (atleast I think so), geo-political scenario of the region has changed, and above all, development process in the state has been kicked off (albeit late). Roads are coming up slowly, fax machine are there in almost all the offices (atleast in Itanagar and other distt. Hqs.), we’ve also got internet connection in capital and other major towns (he he he … catchin’ up with ya dude!)…and above all, we’ve got a very big heart – big enough to accomodate the gargantuan mountains and the mighty rivers of the state.

    Its nice that you have felt the pinch of lack of development in the region; but it would be appreciated if you highlight the problem and take up the issue in appropriate plateform and with right intent. Making a joke of it really doesn’t help, or does it?

    Adiue my fren, and remember, if you plan come to Arunachal, the airport is also coming up very soon; for the time being, however, we’ve got so many helipads out here.

  10. Arunachalee, Government of India seems to be have apathy towards all the states but yes it is more extreme when it comes to the North-East. Having a big heart is a good thing but it won’t put bread and butter on the table of your people.

    This is the right platform, you are reading it so is the Government I am sure. It is much better than writing letters to BSNL. If they still do not change they will basically be driven out by market forces in one way or another.

    I do plan to come there and I do hope you get that new sparkling airport soon. One thing though I would like to know from someone that lives there about what they are doing to make their lives better in terms of telecom. Is it possible to start your own phone company?

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