Kashmir Indepth

SMS restoration announcement: A ‘googly’ from J&K admin in 2020

Only BSNL users avail services, other network yet to restore services

Owais Gul

Srinagar, Jan 01 :  The Jammu and Kashmir administration’s announcement on New Year eve regarding restoration of SMS services across the Union Territory has come as a googly for the mobile users except Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL) customers as the services were not restored by the cellular companies till late Wednesday evening.

According to the wire services—, the government spokesman and Principal Secretary Rohit Kansal on Tuesday in a news conference held in Jammu announced that SMS services on all mobile phones and internet services at all government hospitals and schools will be restored from midnight tonight (December 31).

The users of cellular companies including Jio, Airtel, Vodafone and Idea said that the services are still suspended in the Valley. “We are trying to send messages to our friends, relatives to greet them on New Year, but our attempts are failing from last night as the SMS services are still suspended,” the users said.

They added that the restoration of these services would have provided a sigh of relief to the users.

“We are not even getting the OTP messages from Banks to know about the details of our respective accounts,” the businessmen said, adding that the announcement by the government had brought cheer among the trade community, but all in vein.

An official from Jio cellular company, wishing not to be named, however, informed that they have not received any directions from the government regarding restoration of SMS services in Kashmir so far. “The users will avail the services only after the government will give nod to the cellular companies in this regard,” he added.

Pertinently, the SMS services were suspended by the government on August 5, when the central government abrogated the special status of Jammu and Kashmir (Article 370) and bifurcated the erstwhile State into two Union Territories—Jammu & Kashmir and Ladakh.

All the services including mobile, internet and others were suspended on August 5 while some among them were restored by the government following the improvement in the situation.

Nonetheless, some of the services including internet—both broadband as well as mobile, SMS and prepaid mobile services continued to remain suspended in the Valley, causing hardships to the people. (KNO)

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