Indian state-owned operator BSNL is distributing 5000 free SIM cards to areas of the Kashmir valley affected by flooding.
The cards will only be valid for a week, but require no ID and will offer free calls for their entire validity period.
“The government has approved distribution of 5000 SIM cards…[its] priority is to save lives there [Kashmir] without any discrimination” said BSNL Director for Consumer Mobility Anupam Shrivastava.
Private operators had previously distributed SIM cards in the region under government orders, but using them required identification and calls were charged. Aircel is offering airtime on loan and has increased the credit limit of post-paid customers.
BSNL has managed to bring 829 of its 1173 towers in the valley back online, and aims to have the remainder functioning within a week.