Srinagar, Jan 1: Twenty four hours on, SMS services have been restored only on the selected mobile networks even as the hospitals are eagerly awaiting resumption of broadband internet services in Kashmir.
SMS, mobile and broadband internet was snapped on August 5 when Centre abrogated article 370 and downgraded Jammu and Kashmir into two union territories.
On Tuesday, government spokesperson Rohit Kansal announced that SMS services will be restored on all networks and broadband internet will be restored in the hospitals.
Barring government owned BSNL, SMS service was barred on all networks. “I tried to send a SMS to one of my friend in Kolkatta, but the delivery failed. Later I heard BSNL has only resumed the service,” said Javed Ahmad, a student from Srinagar’s Gojwara area.
Traders too complained that only a particular network was providing SMS service. “Travel agents could have at least sent package details to outside state dealers via SMS. But it seems nothing like that is going to happen now,” said Umar Ahmad, a travel agent.
Similarly, the broadband internet has not been restored in any of the government hospitals of Kashmir. “We too are waiting for the resumption of internet here. We have been maintaining our records manually while health schemes have not been updated since August,” said an official at SMHS hospital.
This year, Kashmir witnessed longest ever internet blockade as the service has remained suspended for 150 days now. Prior to it, Kashmir witnessed longest internet ban in 2016, when the service remained suspended for 120 days following the killing of Burhan Wani.
The lack of internet services is causing huge losses to business sector of Kashmir the losses of which has piled over Rs 17000 crores.
Divisional Commissioner Baseer Ahmad Khan said the issues of SMS and broadband to hospitals is being resolved. “Actually bills of hospitals were being verified as many had not paid their dues yet. Rest SMS on other post-paid networks will be resumed too as the cellular companies were dealing with networking issues,” he said.