J&K to install “harmonious call blocking system” to curb use of cellphones in jail

Project to be implemented in all 14 jails, involves Rs 21 crore expenditure

Srinagar: In a significant move, the Jammu & Kashmir Government has approved a proposal for installation of towers of “harmonious call blocking system” to prevent unauthorized communications in prison complexes of the Union Territory.

The Home Department of J&K has given administrative approval to the project of installation of “harmonious call blocking system” (HCBS) across all 14 jails of the UT.

The ‘harmonious call blocking system’ will block mobile signals and prevent unauthorized communications from prison complexes of the UT.

The proposal involves financial outlay of Rs 21. 26 crore. Of which, Rs 19.04 crore is one time cost and Rs 1.76 crore is recurring cost per annum on account of rent to passive infrastructure providers @Rs 26000 per telecom service provider(TSP) per  month per tower-HCBS) and Rs 0.56 crore on account of annual maintenance charge @ Rs 1 lakh per TSP per annum.

The move is aimed at curbing use of cellphones in jails across the UT.

The installation of towers of harmonious call blocking system would block incoming/outgoing calls, SMS’ and data services in prison premises.

As per standard operating procedure for installation and operation of towers of harmonious call blocking system in the jails, all the telecom service providers assess the coverage, capacity and quality of signals in the prison complex and its adjoining areas.

Based on the assessment, the telecom service providers perform necessary adjustment/optimization in the power output and directions of the antennas of the base stations already installed in the vicinity of the said prison complex to minimize the available signal strengths inside the prison complex.

“TSPs shall regularly optimize (at least bi-monthly) their Radio Access Networks in the vicinity of the prison complex to minimize the availability of signal strength inside the prison complex,” the SoP states.

Based upon the available residual signal strength inside the prison complex after the optimization process, the concerned prison authorities install towers of “harmonious call blocking system” and the number of such sites is decided in consultation with the telecom service providers, the SoP further states. (KNO)

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