Shimla, June 24
Expressing concern on the issue of low connectivity of telephone services in the remote areas of the state, the HP High Court has directed the Managing Director of the BSNL to file a status report informing the court about the steps taken by it for augmentation and improvement of the connectivity in these areas.
While passing this direction, a Division Bench comprising Justice Dharam Chand Chaudhary and Justice Ajay Mohan Goel further directed the Chief General Manager, BSNL, Shimla, to file a report on the present status of connectivity in tribal areas of Lahaul and Spiti, Kinnaur and Killar (Pangi Valley) and Bharmaur area in Chamba district.
Apart from this, the Bench headed by Justice Chaudhary also directed the Chief Post Master General to ensure that there was no shortage of postal stamps, post cards in these remote areas of the state and further directed him to file status report regarding the availability of postal services in the above tribal areas.
The court passed this order on a public interest litigation (PIL) filed by Virender Thakur alleging that though the districts of Kinnaur and Lahaul & Spiti are major tourist destinations, yet in the era of connectivity, particularly “internet connectivity”, these districts are not connected with basic telephone facilities, which is required in these districts, due to tough topography, weather condition and heavy rush of tourists.
He has cited the instance of his visit to Rohtang Pass, when huge landslide was witnessed in the area and large number of tourists remained trapped, as the administration or the Border Road Organisation (BRO) could not be contacted for immediate restoration due to lack of connectivity.
He has also alleged that due to lack of internet connectivity, the people of these areas remain unaware of various facilities and schemes and the students remain deprived of filling up of forms for various entrance tests as admissions to most of the courses are online.
Apart from this, the petitioner has also highlighted about the non-availability of letters, postal cards and postal tickets in the post office at Hikam and the problems being faced by the people to visit the post office, which is at a height of about 4,550 meters from the sea level.
The court directed the respondent to file their responses within four weeks and listed the matter for further hearing on July 24.
Petitioner cites instance of Rohtang Pass
- The court passed this order on a PIL filed by Virender Thakur alleging that though the districts of Kinnaur and Lahaul & Spiti are major tourist destinations, yet in the era of connectivity, particularly “internet connectivity”, these districts are not connected with telephone facilities.
- He cited the instance of his visit to Rohtang Pass, where several tourists were stranded following a landslide. The authorities could not be contacted for help.
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