Sheikh Imran Bashir | Agence India Press | October 31, 2009
Srinagar: Jammu and Kashmir government on Saturday said it would take up with the Union Home Ministry the issue of ban on prepaid mobile phones to ensure that genuine users do not suffer and security is also not compromised.
According to Agence India Press reports government will approach MHA and try to work out an arrangement where the genuine user doesn't suffer and security is not also compromised," an official spokesman said, terming the ban effective from tomorrow as not a positive development.
The ban came in the wake of reports that proper verification is not being done while providing such connections by the service providers/vendors raising security concerns.
"It is a decision taken by the union government. We will monitor its impact on genuine users and take appropriate measures accordingly. It is not a positive development.
Genuine user will have to face the brunt due to the lackadaisical attitude of the telecom companies which did not verify the antecedents of subscribers before issuing SIM cards," the spokesman said.
The move will affect nearly 38 lakh pre-paid mobile phone subscribers in the state where Airtel has nearly 19 lakh subscribers followed by BSNL with 12 lakh and Aircel seven lakh.
Meanwhile Residents of Kashmir have expressed unhappiness over federal government's decision to ban pre-paid mobile telephone connections.
The federal Home Ministry has decided not to issue fresh pre-paid mobile connections in Jammu and Kashmir and the existing pre-paid SIM cards will not be renewed in the state after November 1.
Most of the residents living in Kashmir have pre-paid connections thus banning them will cause difficulties, noted a resident.
"This will cause a huge telecommunication gap in the rural areas. Most of the people in these areas have pre-paid mobile connection, as they are comparatively cheaper. I don't think it is a good decision," said Akeel Ahmed, a resident.
Some residents opined that the procedure of shifting from pre-paid mobile connections to post-paid would be tiresome.
"We will have to face a lot of problems. We will have to wait for months and stand in long queues before we can change our pre-paid mobile connections to post-paid. I think it is a wrong decision as the cell phone companies have record of their pre-paid as well as post-paid customers," said Gulam Mohammad a resident.
Traders dealing in mobile sim cards see no point in banning pre-paid connections.
"I see no point in banning pre-paid connections and not post-paid connections. When we are following the regulations of Telecom Regulatory Authority of India as followed in other parts of the country like doing proper verification before selling sim cards, taking contact and address of the person, there is no point in banning pre-paid connections." Said Mubashir Ahmad, a trader dealing in mobile sim cards.
Mobile services were started in the Kashmir valley a few years ago after the then govt. took the decision despite apprehensions by security agencies that militants would use the technology.
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