Kupwara, Sep 1: The residents of Machil and its adjacent villages in Kupwara district Wednesday expressed resentment against the authorities for failing to provide mobile connectivity to areas other than Machil.
The residents said that last year when Machil got mobile connectivity, their happiness knew no bounds.
They said that people could be seen thronging Machil the entire day to call their kith and kin.
The residents said that the previous year Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha during his ‘Back to Village’ programme in Machil had directed the authorities to provide mobile connectivity to the remaining villages of Machil but those directions were not implemented.
“We were optimistic after LG Manoj Sinha’s directions but almost a year has passed, and the people belonging to far-flung areas of Machil live without the basic facility,” said Muhammad Jammal, former Sarpanch Duddi.
The areas of Machil left out for mobile connectivity include Duddi, Poshwari, Dapal, Katwara, Chontwari Payeen, Chontwari Balla, Doban, Ring Payeen and Ring Balla.
According to locals, over 10,000 persons living in these villages do not have mobile connectivity at a time when the rest of the country is craving for 5G.
They said that not having mobile connectivity takes a toll on them at the time of a medical emergency. The residents said that the ‘Airtel’ mobile tower at Machil does not cater to other areas.
“Due to the lack of mobile connectivity we feel isolated from the rest of the world. During winters, we face the major brunt because our area remains cutoff from the district headquarters for days together,” a resident said.
The students of the area said that they were unable to take online classes due to lack of mobile connectivity and internet facility.
“I am forced to travel 45 kilometres from Ring Balla to Machil while my mobile gets connected to the internet and then I search for important updates from the University of Kashmir and the J&K SSB,” said a BSc 4th semester student from Ring Balla.
The residents said that they had brought this issue to the notice of the district administration numerous times but nothing concrete had materialised so far.
The residents have sought immediate intervention of Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha in this matter so that their grievances are redressed at the earliest.