Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited on Friday urged its customers to link their mobile numbers with Aadhaar numbers to avoid deactivation of services, reported The New Indian Express.

As per a Supreme Court order and guidelines of the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India, all existing postpaid and prepaid mobile customers must link their phone numbers with their Aadhaar through E-KYC verification by February 6, 2018, failing which their numbers will get deactivated, said BSNL’s Odisha circle Cheif General Manager Satyananda Naik.

BSNL officials said only 3% of its 56 lakh existing mobile customers had linked their numbers with Aadhaar so far.

On March 24, the Department of Telecommunications had issued a notice, making it mandatory for all telecom companies to re-verify existing customers through the Aadhaar-based E-KYC process. The directive was applicable to both prepaid and postpaid users. It said connections that were used only for internet and did not have incoming or outgoing calling facilities must be linked to another number provided by the user.

In February, the Supreme Court had asked the Centre to re-verify the numbers of all mobile phone users in the country within a year, while hearing a petition filed by the Lokiti Foundation. The government had said it would use Aadhaar numbers to establish this information.