Internet ban ends, broadband returns to Valley

The protracted clampdown on broadband services in the Valley, in force since revocation of Article 370 ended on Thursday.

Published: 06th March 2020 02:55 AM  |   Last Updated: 06th March 2020 11:56 AM   |  A+A-

Kashmiri girls walks past Indian paramilitary soldiers standing guard during a strike on the death anniversary of separatist leader Maqbool Bhat in central Srinagar, Tuesday, Feb. 11, 2020. (Photo | AP)

Express News Service

SRINAGAR: The protracted clampdown on broadband services in the Valley, in force since the revocation of Article 370 ended on Thursday.

A day after the Jammu and Kashmir administration lifted the ban on social media, broadband and internet connectivity was restored, officials said.

It marked the end of the 7-month information blackout in the Valley, officials said.

BSNL spokesman Masood Bala told this newspaper that broadband internet service was restored in the Valley, with no restrictions whatsoever.  The BSNL has about 21,000 broadband connections in Valley.

Of the 21,000 connections, only 1,456 connections belonging to government departments and officials were working while rest were non-functional since August 5, when Article 370 was withdrawn from the Valley.

Bala said BSNL has decided not to charge consumers for the period when broadband service was suspended.

“The subscribers have only been charged for voice calls during months of suspension,” he said.

“It will help us prepare for the competitive and other exams,” said Zahoor Ahmad, a postgraduate student.

Tourism players called on the administration to restore high-speed internet services.

Zahoor Qari, president, Travel Agents Association of India (TAAI), J&K Chapter, told this newspaper that lifting ban on social media would to some extent prove helpful for the tourism sector.

“It is a first step and will definitely prove helpful,” he said.

Srinagar roads maybe renamed 

After renaming of the two historic markets in Jammu by BJP-led Jammu Municipal Corporation (JMC), the Srinagar Municipal Corporation (SMC) is contemplating renaming two roads after two prominent personalities — journalist Shujaat Bukhari and academician Mushir-ul-Haq, who were assassinated by militants in Valley.

“Proposing a resolution for voting in general council of SMC to rename to prominent roads/chowks in Srinagar,” tweeted Srinagar Mayor Junaid Mattu on Thursday. 

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