High-speed internet will help fight COVID-19 in J&K: Altaf Bukhari

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Jammu & Kashmir Apni Party (JKAP) President Altaf Bukhari on Tuesday urged Union Home Minister Amit Shah to restore high speed mobile internet, as part of preventive measures against the spread of coronavirus in Jammu & Kashmir.

In a statement here, Bukhari observed that restoration of 4G mobile internet services in J&K would enable people especially the students to remain engaged inside their homes, thereby effectively containing the global COVID-19 pandemic.

Bukhari said that since all the educational institutes are closed in J&K the students have been left with no option but to remain idle in their homes which has a telling impact on their future.

He said that as COVID-19 spreads at an alarming rate, the public health officials have called for minimal public gatherings “which is pushing many activities online. The issue is particularly severe for schools, where the risk of spreading the disease is high. As many J&K schools have shifted to online lesson plans, home restricted students are running into the limitations of mobile internet services, which leave most of them unable to connect to their new online classrooms or download lesson plans,” Bukhari remarked.

He said that since all schools, colleges and universities are closed as a result of coronavirus outbreak, millions of students are missing classes, creating an “unparalleled” education disruption in the region.

“Earlier our students missed classes due to disruptions created by August 5, 2019 decision on Article 370 and now the novel coronavirus outbreak has posed a serious challenge to our children to cope with their counterparts in the country who enjoy all other educational facilities including high speed mobile internet,” Bukhari said, while demanding immediate restoration of 4G mobile internet services in J&K.

Similarly, he said that the business community and a large section of the people who are working in the private sector are unable to do their businesses.

Bukhari expressed hope that the restoration of high speed mobile internet will go a long way in easing the situation not only for the home confined students but for the business community and those working in the private sector.

“The tourism trade has also taken a big hit in absence of high speed mobile internet services while businesses including tour and travel operators, chartered accounts, call centres, fresh start-ups and entrepreneurs have also suffered hugely,” he said, while urging the Home Minister to order restoration of 4G mobile internet services.

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