Manmeet Singh Gill
Amritsar, March 20
With the government having extended the suspension of internet services on mobile phones by yet another day, the residents, especially those using the phones to make a living or online payments have found themselves at the receiving end.
With online transactions getting popular in recent times, small traders, shopkeepers, vegetable and fruit sellers, cigarette vendors and many others have bar scan codes placed at their shops as most customers prefer to pay with their mobile phones.
However, suddenly as the need for cash has increased, the rush at ATMs has also increased. Due to increased demand, most machines are running dry. The residents are also unable to use services such as booking taxis and ordering home delivery of parcels where an OTP is required.
Those living alone in PGs or rented accommodations are also not able to order food online which has become very popular recently
“The internet suspension has affected business badly. People are not able to pay money online. Every night we go to sleep hoping that the service would start in the morning,” said Anush Kumar, a grocery shop owner.
The traders stated that as the government had earlier encouraged the people to make online payments, most of them use their mobile phones even to pay a paltry sum.
Amid all these problems, a section of the society feels that the orders were uncalled for, especially as people with Wi-fi facilities have open access to social media platforms. “If the idea was to stop the spread of misinformation, the government could have easily checked access to social media platforms. The government had earlier banned Tik-tok. It could have suspended access to these social media platforms,” said Gurjeet Kaur.
The residents stated that making certain applications such as those used for booking various services or for making online purchases, paying bills, OTT platforms and video games inaccessible by imposing a blanket ban is unjustified and has not served any purpose except for resulting in harassment to the general public.
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