Srinagar: For a month now, residents of many downtown areas have been facing mobile internet shutdowns many times a day, causing immense troubles to those whose work depends on the internet. At least twice a day for more than 11 hours, mobile internet remains suspended, residents say. In the morning hours the first half starts from 7:45am to 11am, and then the second half of the shutdown begins from 2.45 pm till 10pm, they say. The speed of broadband internet also has been squeezed, they say.
“This has been a routine for a month now,” said Abdul Wahid, a resident of Rainawari. “My work has been severely affected.”
Wahid works as a software engineer for a Pune-based company. During the pandemic, he was asked to work from home, and continues to do so. He installed broadband internet at home, and kept mobile internet as an alternative, both of which have been helpful to him. For a month now, though, the broadband speed has been shrunk, making him face reprimands from his boss.
“Our work is on a real time basis. A shrunk internet speed has affected it. I cannot deliver on a timely basis. Reasons are not understood by my boss, as my colleague who lives in a rural area is working without hassles. For my boss, it is difficult to decipher how one place can have two internet speeds. Imagine, if I had only depended on mobile internet, my job would have been gone,” he said.
This rationing of mobile internet and restricted broadband speed has been put in place after the spate of killings of civilians in October.
Nowhatta, the heart of downtown, is another area where the internet is rationed. Sajad Ahmad, a resident of a locality in Nowhatta, said that mobile internet is cut twice during the day. His family members are facing difficulties in getting in touch with their kith and kin who work outside, he said.
Divisional Commissioner Kashmir PK Pole could not be reached for his comments. His phone was switched off. Deputy Commissioner Srinagar Aijaz Asad did not respond to phone calls from this newspaper.