Communication and Connectivity Infrastructure Policy

Investing various measures to reap the benefits of Information Technology and to encourage the latest available technology advancements to give a boost to the telecom sector in the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir, the Administrative Council (AC) which recently met under the chairmanship of the Lieutenant Governor, gave its approval to the Jammu and Kashmir Communication and Connectivity Infrastructure Policy (JKCCIP). The policy deals with preparation of and providing guidelines for a roadmap for creation of the necessary infrastructure for the purpose.
The policy guides as to how the process of laying of such infrastructure for telecom facilities across the UT could further be eased and smoothened. While most of the states and the UTs have already adopted such a policy, Jammu and Kashmir also following suit is a welcome step taken by the UT administration. This includes taking of steps for setting up of overhead mobile towers as well as laying of underground optical fiber. Such a comprehensive infrastructure could be used by multiple service providers on sharing basis or whatever the terms and conditions so as to avoid asking for and using separate space for a similar infrastructure. For this, the policy provides for the ‘Rights of Way’ (ROW) which deals with hassles free permissions and facilities provided through single window mechanism to cut on time and other botheration. Since it could be a source of revenue to the Government, periodicity of granting permissions and permits could be with a two year validity thereafter subject to review for laying of the requisite infrastructural mechanism on open land. An on-line portal too is provided for seeking and applying for such permissions.
It goes without saying that much of ambiguity and confusion about laying of advanced infrastructure stand addressed through this policy. The UT was in need of improving telecom and internet facilities and once this policy was notified and implemented, much improvement in this sector could be witnessed in Jammu and Kashmir. However, in the absence of the restoration of 4-G telecom facilities in the UT when there were still better versions and improvements available elsewhere, we continue to suffer on this account and have to be content with the old snail’s paced 2-G system.