JK Government lifts bans on pre-paid SMS service


Srinagar : The State Government Tuesday decided to lift the ban on Short Messaging Service (SMS) on pre-paid SIM cards from Wednesday morning (May 21). The Short Message Services (SMS) to all the prepaid mobile subscribers had been suspended vide Government Order No. Home -1479 of 2010 in December 2010.

    
Reliable sources said  that after assessing the situation in Valley and further in the back drop of emerging new technologies, government decided to lift the ban of SMS on pre-paid services. All the cellular companies have received government order in this regard in which they have been permitted to start pre-paid SMS services again.
     
On June 30, 2010, the government snapped SMS facility of cellphone users in J&K and the curbs continued till date, depriving 70 percent users from availing the service.
    
Though the state government previously maintained that it would take up the issue of revocation of the ban with the Central government, it later surfaced that the SMS on pre-paid mobiles was banned on the orders of the State Home Department.

"The order to ban the SMS on prepaid subscribers in the state was ordered by the Home Department of J&K Government," the Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited had submitted before the State Human Rights Commission.

Chief Minister Omar Abdullah had justified the ban on prepaid SMS in the State and had said that the service was stopped to impose to check spread of false and frivolous rumors which have a potential to incite violence.
   
 Confirming this, Chief General Manager BSNL, R.K.Koul said  that they have received the revocation order from State Home Department and all the formalities will be completed during Tuesday night. “People of the State could avail the pre-paid SMS service from Wednesday morning,” Koul said.

He said that 8.50 lakh people avail pre-paid services of BSNL in Jammu and Kashmir out of which 4.50 lakh subscribers are from Kashmir.
    
Bharti Airtel has more than two million pre-paid subscribers. Aircell has 20 lakh pre-paid subscribers. An official of the company said  that one million people are availing the Aircell pre-paid service in Kashmir. Other cellular companies like Vodafone, Idea and Reliance also have subscribers in lakhs. (CNS)

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