Mobile subscribers across Kashmir are again up in arms against the service providers for failing to restore connectivity even after 15 days since worst ever torrential rains and floods shook the entire state of Jammu and Kashmir.
The mobile services remained suspended after the floods that claim more than 250 lives were witnessed in the first week of September. As the mobile and internet connectivity became the initial causalities during the floods, the same halted the rescue operations at large, making people across the state worried about the whereabouts of their dear ones.
The chief minister Omar Abdullah also admitted during the flood aftermath that he lost all the contacts with his council of ministers and state administration. Omar while speaking to various TV news channels admitted at that time that he has little knowledge about the whereabouts of his cabinet colleagues and the state administration.
The Government of India while assuring to restore communication network in valley, maintained that a team of engineers in the midst of nature’s fury have been deputed to the flood hit region of the state so that communications could somehow be restored.
Finally on September 14, Information and Broadcasting minister Ravi Shankar Prasad during the press briefing at New Delhi assured that the mobile services along with the thousands of landlines have been restored and BSNL subscribers can now make free calls for a week besides other private cellular companies offering per day 60 minutes sans any cost.
However, the prevailing situation in Srinagar contradicts the claims and assurances made by Mr. Prasad. People accuse that they are being duly charged both by the BSNL and other private companies. It is being alleged further that BSNL is charging more than the actual call costs. “I had pay per second activated on my number. As the mobile services somehow erratically got restored, I am being charged more than the actual,” said Aamir, a student of Engineering.
He was seconded by scores of other mobile subscribers who say that they use the services of private cellular operators no free service was offered to them since past week. People from old city’s Srinagar said that the mobile services yet remain affected in their areas with one out of ten attempts turn successful in making a phone call. “Whenever, we make a phone call, either the voice is cracked or the call gets abruptly dropped. This is ironical that the services are yet to be restored,” Riyaz Ahmad of Gojwara said. Meanwhile, KNS made repeated attempts to contact the BSNL authorities but due to the erratic mobile services, we only had ‘error in connection’ getting repeatedly displaced on our cell phones.