A train to internet-Lifeline for students, traders
Srinagar, Dec 18:
Every time Muneer Ahmad, 18, visited internet kiosk at Baramulla Deputy
Commissioner’s office, he would spent hours in a queue but only to return
without submitting post-matric scholarship form.
had almost given up the idea of applying for scholarship until his uncle
suggested him to visit Banihal. Call it
his good fortune, the government recently resumed train service to Banihal,
where the broadband service has been functional.
“Next morning I
took a train to Banihal. I was surprised to see that many students with their
forms for NEET and other courses had also boarded train to Banihal,” he said.
has become a routine for many students like Ahmad who desperately want to use
internet. For the last four months, the internet blockade has hit ever strata
of society particularly students and business community of Kashmir.
accessing internet at government offices is a very “cumbersome” task. Hundreds of students have been making beeline
every day at Baramulla Deputy Commissioner’s office to file different forms for
education, jobs and scholarships. Similarly, students of other districts face
“There are very
few internet facilitation centers when compared to the students applying for
various courses,” said Mohammad Yasir Rather, a NEET aspirant who visited
Banihal to submit his form.
To meet deadline
of filing Good and Service Tax (GST) returns, rush of traders have also
increased at Banihal internet cafes. “Many traders are visiting Banihal to file
their GST returns. Banihal is the
nearest place to Kashmir where broadband services are working,” said Nisar
Ahmad, a trader.
More than a dozen
internet cafes have come up in Banihal after resumption of train services. Students and traders are being charged Rs 300
per hour for using internet at these cafes.