High Speed Internet Restoration Under Consideration: LG

 J&K Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha – KO Photo

Srinagar: Days after ban on 4G internet was extended in Jammu and Kashmir except two districts, the Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha said on Friday that the restoration of high speed internet was under consideration and the present dispensation has taken up the matter “very seriously”

Addressing his maiden press conference at the Raj Bhawan here on Friday, Sinha said that the time has come for the people of Jammu and Kashmir to move forward.

“This UT (J&K) is mostly in discussion because of wrong things. Time has come to move ahead of that for achieving the stars of development,” he said.

Sinha, who assumed office after the transfer of GC Murmu as J&K LG on August 6, said that the Union territory has been in ‘scary’ headlines due to which genuine grievances of people were unheard.

Replying to a question over the high speed internet, the LG said that the restoration of 4G internet services across J&K was under consideration and present dispensation has taken up the matter “very seriously”.

He added that people will be informed soon about the future of 4G internet services across UT.

Pertinently, prior to LG Sinha his predecessor GC Murmu had advocated restoration of high-speed internet services in the J&K. However, according to the reports his opinion had not gone well with Ministry of Home Affairs has been opposed to the restoration of the internet over fears of “misuse”.

In an interview, Murmu had said that he is “not afraid how people of Kashmir will use” the internet. He had said the J&K administration had been making representations for restoring 4G internet services which have remained suspended for a year.

“We have been representing this thing (restoration of 4G). It will not be a problem,” Murmu had said in an interview to The Indian Express.

Replying to another query from a journalist, Sinha said that there was no restriction on media and the journalists can come to meet him anytime.

The LG was flanked by Advisor Farooq Khan, Rajeev Rai Bhatnagar and Naseer Ahmad Khan, Advisors to the Lt Governor; Sh. BVR Subrahmanyam, Chief Secretary; Nitishwar Kumar, Principal Secretary to Lt Governor; Simrandeep Singh, Secretary, Public Grievances and other senior officers.

LG Launches Health Insurance Scheme, Public Grievances Portal

Meanwhile Lieutenant Governor Sinha announced a universal health insurance scheme, on the lines of the Centre’s Ayushman Bharat, to cover the entire population of the Union territory at an annual expenditure of Rs 123 crore.

The scheme will provide health insurance cover free of cost to all residents and shall include the serving and retired employees and their families as well, he said.

“Today, we have approved an important public health benefit proposal which is probably the first of its kind in the entire country. The Jammu and Kashmir Health Scheme will provide universal health coverage to nearly 70 lakh residents of the Union territory who are not covered under the Ayushman Bharat scheme,” Sinha told reporters here.

The LG invited suggestions from the public for naming the JK Health Scheme. “We would like the name to be suggested by the people. A committee will be formed which will select the best name,” he added.

Giving details, Administrative Secretary in the Health department Atal Dulloo said the JK Health Scheme will have the same benefits as Ayushman Bharat, and beneficiaries can avail cashless treatment at all hospitals empanelled under the central scheme across the country.

Dulloo said the annual financial implication of the insurance scheme would be to the tune of Rs 123 crore.

“The registration for the scheme will start within a week’s time, but the scheme will be implemented only after a formal launch,” he said.

Sinha also launched a pilot project for a public grievance redressal system in three districts of the Union territory — Srinagar, Jammu and Reasi.

“I believe that one of the most important things is to listen to the people and resolve their daily problems. We have launched JKIGRAMS (Jammu and Kashmir Integrated Grievance Redress and Monitoring Mechanism) — a revamped and decentralised grievance redressal system,” he said.

The LG said while people can file and track their grievances in this system, the portal is linked with the CPGRAMS, in which grievances pertaining to the Union government can be forwarded to the Centre.

“In the revamped system, the deputy commissioners of respective districts will be the primary level of receiving, disposing and monitoring grievances. This will be a major step towards reform and decentralisation,” he added.

The LG said monitoring dashboards will be with him and the chief secretary as well. “We may call some people to check the veracity of the official reports about disposal of grievances,” he added.

Sinha also announced that all deputy commissioners and superintendents of police would be available in their offices from 10.30 am to 11.30 am every day, except for Wednesdays and Sundays, to hear public grievances.

“Similarly, divisional commissioners and IGs have also fixed timings twice a week exclusively for public hearings,” he added

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Auqib Javeed

Auqib Javeed is a Srinagar-based journalist and tweets @AuqibJaveed.

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