Because, the directory has quietly disappeared from the public psyche, replaced instead by the ubiquitous mobile phone and the integrated directory.
It looks like it’s been ages since the BSNL last printed its directory. The 2006-07 directories accumulate dust in most homes and offices. Although convinced that there is hardly any demand for the printed edition, BSNL is nevertheless preparing to publish the 2009 directory in the near future.
“It’s a fact that most people today use the website for information, there is hardly any demand for the print edition,” says Vishwanath Acharya, Deputy Managing Director, HR and Administration, BSNL . Besides printing the same number of copies as last time, it will also release a CD with 3 lakh printed copies.
For years, the print edition of the directory was the only resource available for research in the city. It was mainly used for finding a person, business listings, businesses, and government offices.
The advent of the Internet has made online options easier, and with the advent of cell phones with huge memories, the directory’s popularity has plunged even further. Print editions are now believed to be a pure waste of paper as some use the directory to make inquiries only on civic amenities.
“Fixed line, an old concept”
“We hardly ever use the landline these days and it’s more of an old concept. It is a big waste of paper for the fact that it is given away for free. Most of us use the Internet for research, there are so many websites and search engines, ”says Chetan Shivarudraiah, a city businessman.
Student Risi Vinayak Desai says CDs are portable and accessible anytime, but phone books are heavy. “I use the phone book only for inquiries about water and electricity. But if everyone is using CDs instead of a phone book, then indirectly we can save trees, ”he adds.
But Anita Gracias, a volunteer with the SAHAI helpline, is among those who still use the printed version of the directory. “I still use the phone book, but I also use the BSNL online phone book. I also find the services of Just Dial good and practical.
Even Vindya KM uses Just Dial these days and says it’s been a while since they used the phone book. “We keep our own phone book as a phone book and in case we need to contact someone for water or electricity, services are available in the locality itself. “