The Jammu and Kashmir administration's new year gift -- the restoration of the Internet services in all government hospitals in the Valley from December 31 midnight -- is turning out to be a hoax.
Samir Mattoo, Director, Health Services Kashmir, on Wednesday said the Internet services had not been restored in hospitals of the directorate so far, adding no communication in this regard had been received from the government.
On Tuesday, Principal Secretary Planning, Development and Monitoring Department, Rohit Kansal, announced that Short Messaging Service (SMS) and broadband services in all government hospitals will be restored midnight in the Kashmir valley.
Kansal, however, said the government had restored broadband services in several hospitals aacross the Valley.
While Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL) restored SMS from midnight, private telecom operators -- Jio, Airtel, and Vodafone -- said they were yet to resume the services.
Kansal said that SMS servies will be fully restored tomorrow. "Some telecome companies could do it after facing technical glitches," he said.
Kashmir Valley has 66-lakh mobile phone subscribers -- 40 lakh post-paid and 26 lakh pre-paid mobile phone users. The government shutdown mobile, internet and landline services in the state ahead of abrogation of Article 370 on August 5.
Later, the government resumed landline and post-paid services across Kashmir, but pre-paid mobile and internet services continue to remain suspended. Major health facilities, including Super Speciality Hospital, GB Pant, SMHS Hospital and other hospitals in Srinagar continue to function without the internet services.
“I went to the ward number 3 many a time to see whether the broadband services in our hospital (SMHS) were functioning again, but they haven't been restored yet,” said a cardiologist working in the SMHS requesting anonymity.
Basheer Ahmad Khan, Divisional Commissioner, Kashmir, said hospitals have some issues related to billing and it will be resolved.
A senior police official, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said no official from the health department or any other hospital had approached them for the resumption of the internet services even after 24 hours of the announcement.
He said some hospitals have billing issues and others had landlines cut off. “These issues are being dealt with,” he said. Sources said some HoDs are not interested in having internet services in their departments, for they are scared of repercussions if the police presumed that internet services had been misused.