• Friday, Feb 03, 2023
  • Last Update : 10:24 am

ED: Not the time to cut off the internet

  • Published at 01:20 pm August 7th, 2020
Overhead cables being removed in Dhaka.Rajib Dhar/Dhaka Tribune

City-dwellers are finding themselves in a time of pandemic without services such as the internet

The government’s decision to move illegal overhead cables underground, which not only pose a severe safety hazard but also take much away from the beautification of the city, is a commendable one in principle.

Most recently, the Dhaka South City Corporation has been conducting drives whereby they have been taking such illegal cables down -- a move that would have made sense if not for the fact that the government has not provided any alternatives through which these cables can be moved underground.

This is a most unfair situation whereby city-dwellers are finding themselves in a time of pandemic without services such as the internet, which are now considered essential. 

A lack of coordination and communication on the matter has exacerbated the problem -- many internet users have no idea why they were unable to go online, and were unable to do their work, resulting in serious ramifications.

More than ever before, during the Covid-19 pandemic, we have moved into a new normal. Internet connections are a lifeline to people to either work or study from home, or to stay in touch with their loved ones. With medical emergencies spiking and news of Covid-related deaths coming in every day, cutting off this lifeline, whatever the policy, shows that this drive was not in the interest of the people, and was not clearly thought out. 

If indeed these overhead cables are to be cut, alternatives first need to be provided, and it must be understood that we are living in unprecedented times, which call for a new type of thinking, and a new type of action. 

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