Gag on communication continues though 100 pc landlines restored in Kashmir
Jammu & Kashmir

Gag on communication continues though 100 pc landlines restored in Kashmir

Agency News

Srinagar, Sep 11: Though 100 per cent landline communication has been restored, mobile and internet service of all Cellular companies, including Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL), remained suspended as a precautionary measure since August 5 in Kashmir valley, where life remained crippled due to strike and restrictions against scrapping of Article 370 and Article 35 A and bifurcation of the state into two Union Territories.

In the absence of mobile service, local STD booths are charging Rs 10 per minute for local call in Srinagar.

The landline phones were fully restored in Kashmir valley after the service was suspended on August 5, bringing some relief to the people, who could not contact their dear ones within and outside the valley due to total communication blackout.

BSNL offices across Kashmir valley, including Srinagar, are witnessing heavy rush of people who either want to restore their disconnected landline or new connection. Almost all telephone exchanges are working now across the valley, BSNL officials said.

However, they said fresh connections will be issued only after receiving the feasibility report from the field staff. About the allegation that BSNL is delaying to restore old connections, they said ‘first we have to check whether all pending bills are cleared and then issue reconnection letter to concerned exchange which takes two to three days’.

Majority of BSNL landline subscribers had either disconnected their connections or left them unattended after introduction of mobile service in the valley. Now when only BSNL landlines are working, people are again going for landline connections in the valley.

Mobile network of all Cellular companies, including BSNL, besides internet remained suspended for the past 38 days in the valley, badly hitting on-line editions of local newspapers, journalists, students and other professionals.

The communication network was suspended across Kashmir valley, including Srinagar, on August 5 as a precautionary measure to prevent rumours after the special status of the state was scrapped. Suspension of the communication -- mobile and internet -- network evoked sharp reaction, particularly from the families whose relatives were outside the valley.

Due to suspension of internet service, journalists working for different media organisations, including News Agencies, were badly affected. However, administration has set up a Media Facilitation Centre at Sonawar in the city, where journalists are filing their stories to their respective media organisations though media persons have to wait for hours to get their turn since only a limited number of systems are working.

Students are worst hit as they are not able to fill their forms for different examinations outside the state. ''We are also not able to get information about our examination or selection in different universities and professional colleges outside the valley in the absence of internet,'' the students alleged.

Official work in most offices, which had shifted to e-governance, remained affected since August 5. Though employees are attending their offices, they are not doing any work in the absence of internet facility. (UNI)