Some Kashmir landlines come alive

The authorities lifted restrictions on the movement of people in 35 police station areas of the Valley and made landline phones operational by resuming services at 17 out of 96 telephone exchanges. More than 23,000 landlines in the Valley were functional by the evening.

Shops and business establishments in Kashmir, however, remained closed on Saturday. The authorities also restored mobile internet services, but at 2G speed, in five districts of Jammu region on Saturday while restrictions on movement were eased in Rajouri district during the day but would remain in force under CrPC Section 144 between 9 pm and 5 am.

The net-savvy started wishing each other on WhatsApp and Facebook as soon as the service was restored. “Mobile internet service was restored at (Friday) midnight but with 2G speed,” an official said. The districts where mobile internet services have been restored are Jammu, Samba, Kathua, Udhampur and Reasi, but they remain suspended in Poonch, Rajouri, Kishtwar, Doda and Ramban districts, official sources said.

Government spokesman Rohit Kansal said no untoward incident was reported from the Valley areas where restrictions were relaxed and process of easing would continue on Sunday in these areas after the local authorities had assessed the situation. He said authorities were working on opening remaining landlines by Sunday evening.

Kansal, who is principal secretary (planning and development), said the easing of restrictions resulted in people emerging from their homes and private vehicles plying on the roads. He reiterated that the government was planning to reopen primary schools in the Valley for which the necessary arrangements were being made. “Public transport is plying and we have encouraging reports of a lot of public movement,” Kansal said. Restrictions on movement under CrPC Section 144 were also lifted from parts of old Srinagar city and restoration of exchanges enabled landline services in Budgam, Sonamarg and Manigam areas. In north Kashmir, landline services were restored in Gurez, Tangmarg, Uri, Keran, Karnah and Tangdhar areas; in south Kashmir, services were made operational in Qazigund and Pahalgam areas, the spokesman said.

Kashmir divisional commissioner Baseer Ahmad Khan said a plan was in place to take the Hajis to their homes. He said two flights carrying over 300 Hajis are scheduled to land in Srinagar on Sunday morning .

No comments: