Srinagar: While the 5G internet services may be as close as half a year away in India, the country’s ‘integral part’ is facing a question over the very title given to it.
Five hundred long days have passed since the government imposed a ban on high-speed mobile data services in Jammu and Kashmir, which continues except in the two districts of Ganderbal and Udhampur, and the gag continues to be renewed every fortnight or so, the latest till December 25 for ‘security’ reasons.
4G and 3G mobile internet services continue to remain suspended across the Union Territory since August 5 last year when the Government of India scrapped the special status of Jammu and Kashmir by abrogating Article 370 and bifurcated the erstwhile State into two Union Territories.
The ban on high-speed internet services has caused hardships among the students, traders, hoteliers and other sections of the society. The ban entered its 500th day on Wednesday.
Kashmir Hotels and Restaurant Owners Federation (KHAROF) president, Wahid Malik, told KNO that every section of the society, especially students, has been suffering due to the ongoing ban on the high-speed mobile data services.
He said although broadband and other connections are available at the hotels, the clients who visit there face hardships as they want to connect with their friends and families during outings.
“We appeal the government to restore high-speed mobile data services in Jammu and Kashmir at earliest so that the people here as well as the visitors could heave a sigh of relief,” he said.
Adil Ahmad, a student who recently appeared in Class 12th examinations, told the news agency that students are being pushed to the wall due to the continuous restrictions on 3G and 4G mobile internet services.
He said most of the students belong to the downtrodden section of the society and cannot afford broadband and other similar connections, thus facing tremendous hardships.
Ahmad also added that in the recently conducted examinations, students like him faced a lot of hardships in collecting the study material on the internet due to low-speed internet services. “We were forced to pay at local internet cafés to download the study material most of the times during the examinations,” Ahmad said.
As people continue to suffer, there is no hint by the government about the restoration of high-speed mobile data services.