Srinagar: After restoring high-speed 4G Internet services in Ganderbal and Udhampur districts of Jammu and Kashmir earlier this year, the Centre may extend the permit to more districts after October 15, Economic Times reported, quoting people aware of the matter.
However, the decision on the names of districts may be left with the state administration and police.
4G services were restored in two districts — Ganderbal and Udhampur — on a trial basis by the State administration, on August 16 this year, more than a year after they were suspended.
Restoration of high-speed internet services will be done in a calibrated manner with strict monitoring and periodical review by security agencies, the report said.
“Districts reporting low violence and not close to the Line of Control (LOC) will be considered, on priority,” they added.
Jammu and Kashmir consist of 10 districts each where Rajouri, Poonch and Samba in Jammu and Kupwara, Bandipora, Baramulla in Kashmir, share border with Pakistan.
4G services were suspended in August last year when the Central government abrogated Article 370 and bifurcated the State into two Union Territories — Ladakh and Jammu and Kashmir.
The Centre restored 2G services in January this year and later announced the setting up of a special committee on the directions of the Supreme Court to examine the resumption of 4G internet. After several rounds of hearing before the SC, the centre in August 2020 informed the apex court that the panel has decided to allow internet on a trial basis in limited areas of the UT after August 15. The committee headed by Union Home Secretary Ajay Bhalla is likely to hold another detailed review of the situation before October 15.
While many agencies have backed the decision for full restoration of 4G services across J&K, MHA officials are opposed for a complete resumption of the internet due to fears of “misuse”, explained a senior government official.
Newly appointed Lieutenant Governor, Manoj Sinha, however, has assured that the matter (on 4G) is being examined very seriously.