Ncell customers in flood and landslides affected districts sent over 16.6 million text messages, utilizing free SMS service provided by the company to ensure communications during the disaster.
Ncell had announced 50 free SMS per day for three days to help the flood victims stay in touch with their family members and loved ones during the time of natural disaster and contribute in rescue and relief operations.
According to a press statement issued by Ncell, people of 23 flood-affected district benefitted from the service provided for three days until Tuesday ( August 15) as per directives of the Nepal Telecommunications Authority (NTA).
Besides that, Ncell had also provided free balance transfer and increased the loan amount to Rs 60 during the same period. The company had also run a toll-free service through its hotline number 9008 to help the flood victims contact their family and friends in case of emergency.
“We have received very good response about the 50 free SMS provided each day, free of charge balance transfer facility, increased Saapati amount and operation of free emergency call center number 9008 as these initiatives supported our beloved customers in establishing contact with dear ones and also eased rescue and relief works,” said Pranay Acharya, corporate services director of Ncell. He also informed that with water level receding, additional BTS towers have now been brought into operation.
“In few places, there were problem due to lack of electricity and risk in operation of diesel generators. We are now providing service to our customers with 97 % sites up and run,” said Acharya.
Ncell, which has been providing various services to customers during the time of natural disaster, has also been sending SMS alerts regarding risks of flood and landslides to customers from such disaster prone areas in collaboration with the Department of Hydrology and Meteorology (DHM).
Under this program, the company during the one week period from August 8 –14 has sent over 6 million SMS alerts. Ncell had sent text alerts to customers residing in lower basins of various major rivers based on SMS contents provided by the DHM as per water level in the rivers. In a bid to reduce damages from flood and landslides, DHM informs Ncell to send alert SMS depending up on situation of water level in the rivers. DHM and Ncell last year had signed a memorandum of understanding to send SMS alerts.