4-G restored in J&K after 18 months

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Jammu: Bringing smiles among cross section of people, Jammu and Kashmir Government on Friday announced restoration of 4G mobile Internet across the Union Territory.

“In view of the advise of the special committee and careful review of overall security scenario”, principal Secretary Home, Shaleen Kabra “revoked restrictions on mobile data services and fixed line internet connectivity”. The “pre paid SIM card holders shall be provided access to the Internet connectivity only after verification as per the norms applicable for post paid connections,” read an order issued by him.

Kabra asked the IGs of both Kashmir and Jammu zones to ensure compliance of the order in their respective areas by the service providers  forthwith. “they shall also closely monitor the impact of lifting of restrictions,” he added.

Earlier, the  UT Government spokesperson Rohit Kansal had in the evening broke the new on Twitter saying “4G mobile Internet services being restored in entire J&K. 

The decision came one and a half year after Central government has imposed restrictions on high speed internet data in August 2019 when it moved to abrogate Article 370 which guaranteed special status to the then state of Jammu and Kashmir.

The 4G mobile Internet services were suspended in August 2019 when Central Government moved to abrogate Article 370 of the Indian Constitution and bifurcate the then Jammu Kashmir State into two Union Territories of J&K and Ladakh.

An year thereafter, the Jammu Kashmir government restored 4G in Udhampur district in Jammu division and Ganderbal in Kashmir.

This had followed recommendation by a panel constituted by the Supreme Court to review the restrictions and also the security situation in the Union Territory.

This followed a petition by  the Foundation for Media Professionals, a non-government organisation seeking initiation of contempt proceedings against the Centre and the UT administration for the failure to comply with the top court’s May 11 directions to review restrictions on mobile internet speed in Jammu Kashmir. The court has asked the government to explore possibility of restoring high speed mobile data in view of its endorsement by then UT’s Lt Governor G C Murmu.

Ever since the restoration of high speed Internet mobile data in these two districts, both the UT administration and the Central government have been under pressure from general public to restore this service in entire Jammu Kashmir. The demand had gained momentum after the successful conduct of maiden district development council elections in the UT recently.

The suspension of 4G mobile Internet was causing lot of inconvenience to cross section of people, with students complaining that they had been unable to attend online classes during COVID restrictions. 

UT’s Lt Governor Manoj Sinha’s had early last month assured “good news’ has about the restoration of high-speed 4G internet in Jammu and Kashmir. 

 “I know 4G is working in just two districts of J&K. A committee is examining the issue. There will be good news soon in the coming days,” Sinha had told reporters here.

At present, high speed Internet services were available only on fixed landline phones and 2G on post paid mobile phones.

“I thank the Hon’ble PM @narendramodi Ji and HM @AmitShah Ji for acceding to our request and restoring 4G services in the entire J&K UT. The move will fulfil the aspirations of the people, particularly the youth,’’ said UT’s Lt Governor Manoj sinha on Tweet.

Meanwhile, the decision to restore 4G brought cheers among cross section of people in Jammu. Many could not believe initially as  government spokesperson Rohit Kansal tweeted that 4G was being restored in the entire UT.