's BSNL reported that its fixed line infrastructure suffered service breakdowns in April and June as a result of a massive cable theft.
The carrier said it documented some 213 cases showing that saboteurs or thieves either stole or cut the cables rendering thousands of phones useless.
'This is more a sabotage than simple cases of theft,' said Sunil Parihar, BSNL's Bihar telecom circle general manager said, adding that after a high level meeting, the state home department has constituted a team of police and BSNL officials to look into the matter.
Parihar also described the ugly development as a 'cable war' waged against BSNL by rivals.
The BSNL official said the sabotage seems to be the handiwork of the agents of private phone operators who offer lucrative incentives for making new customers.
In Patna and other towns, the landline phone network is saturated with BSNL customers, he said.
Parihar said three leading private phone operators are currently in the process of expanding their landline network in different parts of the state. Their agents might be active in goading anti-social elements into cut BSNL cables, he said.