N Chandrababu Naidu
N Chadrababu Naidu taking oath as Chief Minister of AP on 8 June (file photo)AP government

Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Chandrababu Naidu lashed out at top telecom companies in the state for not living up to expectations in case of emergencies. Most telecom operators failed to restore basic services even days after the ferocious cyclone Hudhud threw life out of gear in coastal regions.

In a meeting on Thursday, also attended by Airtel's Sunil Mittal, Naidu lambasted the companies for behaving irresponsibly. He even went on to say, "You are irresponsible, you are killing people".

"The most disappointing department is the telecom sector. I was totally upset with your behaviour, and I want to complain against your top leaders as well," he said at the meeting in which representatives of the top companies were present.

"Each company is a multinational company and you have a social responsibility. We are in a crisis, and if one department is lacking, the effect will be felt on all. Your inefficiency, your indifferent attitude and miserliness are factors adding to the crisis," Naidu reprimanded.

While he had already warned all officials of his government that he will not spare anyone if they do not step up to the crisis, he also issued the same warning to the private telecom companies.

"Whenever there is an emergency I will not spare anybody, however big that person is. When public interest is in question, everyone should fall in line," he said.

Naidu said that he had earlier warned the companies to take precautions in terms of keeping a watch on mobile towers and immediately rectifying disrupted services.

"I have seen how badly the situation was handled in the Uttarakhand floods because of the telecom sector," Naidu lambasted.

He spoke of the limitations he faced in tracking the situation in the state as the network was down.

"My efficiency (in disaster relief works) went down by 50% because of the communication gap," he said.

Naidu said he will have a thorough review of all sectors after the crisis in the state if resolved.

"I protest this. We will probe further and I will be very firm," he said. "You have so many resources to restore networks overnight, so what is the problem? I will not tolerate this kind of non-cooperation."