An order by the Jammu and Kashmir administration to restore mobile internet in five districts of Jammu for a period of seven days is yet to be implemented. As soon as the order was made public by the news outlets, locals around Jammu were brimming with happiness, as they thought they could access mobile internet after six months of shutdown. But there is no sign of restoration on the ground yet.
Even as broadband services remain functional in Jammu, absence of mobile internet has affected businessmen, students and others who were dependent on internet for their day-to-day activities. Locals in Jammu have also complained about the low speed of the broadband. This is why the notification by the J&K administration had showed some signs of relief to the people.
The order stated that from January 15, services on post-paid mobile telephones will be restored in five districts of Jammu region.
The order read: “2G mobile connectivity on post paid mobiles for accessing white-listed sites, including for e-banking, shall be allowed to begin with, in the districts of Jammu, Samba, Kathua, Udhampur, and Reasi. However, in the other districts of the UT of J&K, mobile internet connectivity shall remain suspended till further directions, pursuant upon a review of the adverse impact, if any, of this relaxation on the security situation.”
The mobile internet will be restored initially for seven days and will be extended further depending on the situation.
The order also mentioned setting up of 400 internet kiosks in Kashmir and “broadband facility to all institutions dealing with essential services, Hospitals, banks etc., and also Government offices, and in order to facilitate tourism, to hotels, tour and travel establishments”.
The order comes days after Supreme Court’s intervention sought by several petitions. Last week, the apex court had directed Jammu and Kashmir administration to review internet suspension in the erstwhile state of Jammu and Kashmir. It should be noted that internet has been shut down 106 times in 2019.
The ongoing shutdown has been in place from August 4, 2019—a day before the abrogation of Article 370 by the Centre.