Ground Report | Wahid Bhat
More than eight million people in Kashmir Valley are unable to get reliable information about the coronavirus disease, work from home, or attend classes online. In March government finally restored internet but only 2g service.
A new government order, which was released on Tuesday, has extended the region’s existing restrictions on internet speed until March 26 to “prevent misuse of social media applications” and following “recent terror activities” in the region. But locals said that the restrictions on internet speed are unacceptable at a time when access to timely and reliable information about the coronavirus is crucial.
Aarif Shah wrote “Kashmir is still struggling with 2G internet Speed amid #COVID19 threat. Fascist regieme is not restoring high speed internet in such crisis time when people need free flowing information regarding the epidemic. 8 million lives has been put on risk. #Restore4GinKashmir”
Another twitter user wrote “Who is watching these videos? Is it possible to watch on 2G? Life is hell here.”
Jajeer Talkies Another twitter user wrote “Year 2050; Cancer doesn’t exist anymore. Scientists are experimenting human teleportation to the Mars Outpost. J&K Administration extends 2G ban for another week.
Senior journalist and President of Kashmir Press club Shuja UL Haq wrote “The administration in J&K must realise how important high speed Internet can be at this time. People need to know information in real-time so that they prepare and preempt their actions against the spread of this virus. Restore the 4G internet”.
Meher tweeted “It’s 2020 and 8 million people of an entire state has been deprived of high speed internet for more than 7 months now. Studies, businesses and banking are affected but nobody gives a damn about it because as long as they are not suffering, it’s okay. Shame
Mirchi Mehak “I haven’t been able to open one ,one coronavirus prevention video .How can preventive knowledge be spread when people including me are just uploading videos and no one can really watch them ?
World Health Organization declared coronavirus outbreak a “pandemic” last week. On Wednesday, the country’s official count was 147 cases and three deaths. But in Kashmir, where more than 2,000 people have been quarantined at home, according to government data, locals fear that the lack of access to high-speed internet would make things worse.