In occupied Kashmir, as lockdown in the Kashmir valley continues on 42nd consecutive day, today, the telecom sector of the territory has suffered a loss of more than Rs 90 crore in last one month. Mobile Internet services have been snapped and calling has also been barred across occupied Kashmir since August 05 when Narendra Modi-led Indian government announced repeal of special status of the territory.
The occupied Kashmir, having about 1.15 crore mobile subscribers, has been deprived of the Internet services, which is not only affecting the subscribers, but also all telecom operators operating in the territory. On one hand, the mobile subscribers have been demanding waving of their bills for the period as they have not used the services, while on the other, the mobile operators are facing huge losses, as they have to bear the operation cost with a limited revenue.
An official of a telecom company, requesting anonymity, told media that they had to keep all their mobile towers on, as a few phone numbers of higher officials had to be operational at all locations of the territory. “We cannot shut even a single tower, as some connections of some higher officials need to be operational at all the locations. If we shut any of the towers, it will take three to four days to be restored,” the official said. He also said that the industry had lost about Rs 90 crore in the last one month, as they had to bear the operational cost as well as the salaries of the huge staff hired by the company.
According to the figures of the last quarter, the industry has collected the revenue of Rs 391.06 crore, which is equal to approximately Rs 130 crore a month. The official said the industry had not collected more than Rs 40 crore last month from the territory which led them to a loss of Rs 90 crore.
The official of another telecom company said it would become difficult for the operators to continue their services, if the Indian government did not lift the restrictions on mobile services and data in occupied Kashmir.
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