Internet Gag: 2 Hours of travel for 5 minutes of internet in Kashmir

‘Journalists travelling to DIPR media center just to avail internet services for uploading and downloading the content’

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Gowhar Nazir

Srinagar, Dec 12: The sudden drop in temperature and dense fog has created tough times for the working journalists in Kashmir who travel to Director of Information and Public Relations (DIPR), media center for merely using the internet services for just emailing the content amid bone chilling cold and dense fog.

The internet services which continues to remain suspended on the fourth consecutive month for security measures in the backdrop of roll back of semi-autonomous status of J&K and bifurcation of erstwhile state of Jammu and Kashmir into two Union Territories (Jammu—Kashmir and Ladakh), as the same restrictions remains intact for the leading media houses in Kashmir.

The internet restrictions has left print and media fraternity highly dependent on  Director of Information and Public Relations (DIPR), Srinagar which is the only lifeline for the working journalists for accessing the internet services in Kashmir.

The Director of Information and Public Relations (DIPR), Srinagar has placed their staff on grounds in two shift basis to avoid any kind inconveniences to journalists but travelling to and fro Director of Information and Public Relations (DIPR) media center is what bothers the most journalists during the bone chilling winters and dense fog risking the lives.

Even though the Director of DIPR Dr. Syed Sehrish Asgar has been working tirelessly to facilitate the best possible services to the working journalists based in Kashmir, as recently proper heating arrangements were put in place and a separate reporting room was provided to the women journalists working in valley.

As the entire staff at DIPR is working under the guidelines of Director are in consistent endeavours to provide hassle free facilities in order to help out the media fraternity in Kashmir who are feeling like a dejected lot at the present times.

Asif Ahmed name changed, a journalist based in Srinagar said, “Nowadays it’s not hard to make a story throughout the day but posting the same by the end of the day is what terrifies me the most.”

He said that the administration has facilitated the proper heating arrangements for the working journalists but the issue is to undertake a travel of about an hour in order to access internet merely for minutes. He further added, “The government should now ease out the internet restrictions for the media houses and working journalists at least as we have been suffering from the past four months on every single day to post our stuff to our associated media houses.”

Another journalist wishing Anonymity said, “I lose my interest in journalism as the situation taught me something which I was unaware about.”

He said that it’s very hard to see all prominent journalists at DIPR media center working at odd hours just like a stage show where a journalist is being cornered by the crowd. He further added that, “Apart from a degree in journalism I have done a professional course and now I am planning to switch over that, as journalism has become one of the toughest job in Kashmir where internet remains suspended for months and the authorities give damn about that.”

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