Srinagar: All roads seem to be leading to Ganderbal with people in hoards rushing to the district to update mobile phones and submit forms as it has become the only place in Kashmir to have 4G internet connectivity.
The government on Sunday restored high-speed 4G internet in Ganderbal and Udhampur districts of Jammu and Kashmir on a trial basis. This followed the Supreme Court’s intervention in the matter. In the rest of the valley, the internet speed is restricted to 2G only.
For the last two days, people have been rushing to Ganderbal to experience the high-speed internet. While many wanted to update their phones and laptops, others were keen to submit forms for government jobs and renew licenses.
The rush of the people has been mostly from Srinagar, which is just 18 kilometers away from Ganderbal.
Soon after the announcement of 4G, Umer Arshid of Nishat rushed to Nagabal area of Ganderbal to update his phone. “My phone had a very serious problem. The first thing I did was to rush to Nagabal and update my phone. It was after a year that I experienced 4G internet,” he said.
For the last two days, youth riding motorbikes have been frequenting 90-feet road Soura to visit Ganderbal. “Mostly young boys can be seen on bikes. Most of them can be seen armed with electronic gadgets including phones and laptops,” said Rayees Ahmad, a local from Soura.
People from the peripheral areas of Bandipora and Budgam also thronged Ganderbal for submitting job applications.
Mashooq Ahmad, a local from Bandipora’s Sumbal area went to Ganderbal to submit a form for the post of a panchayat account assistant.
“Internet cafes have closed their operations in our district. So, the only option we have is to visit Ganderbal to submit our forms for the panchayat account assistant posts,” he said.
Ahmad said that many from his native place had gone to Ganderbal for the renewal of driving licenses online.
In the absence of high-speed connectivity, businesses and the education sector had suffered a severe blow in Kashmir. Students have been facing major connectivity problems during online classes.