Postpaid mobile phone services in all districts of Kashmir will be restored on Monday noon, the Jammu and Kashmir administration said on Saturday. The services have been blocked since August 4, the day before the government revoked the state’s special constitutional status and imposed restrictions to prevent law and order problems.
Principal Secretary Rohit Kansal said the services were being restored after the government had reviewed the situation. The move differs from an earlier plan of the administration to activate only Bharat Sanchar Nigam Ltd services first, and then incoming calls run by private telecom operators, PTI reported. The decision will restore services to about 40 lakh subscribers, while around 26 lakh prepaid users will have to wait longer.
“With this step, tourists will be able to visit the state without being handicapped by the lack of phone connectivity, students can be in touch with parents while attending schools, businessmen can be in touch with customers, transporters can contact clients, and contractors can be in touch with staff,” the government said in a statement.
Fixed line telephone services were restored in parts of Jammu and Kashmir on August 17, and by September 4, all nearly 50,000 landline connections were restored. Mobile phone services had already been restored in Jammu and Ladakh regions, and in the Kupwara district of Kashmir. The Kashmir region has 10 districts.
The decision to restore postpaid mobile services is part of a series of incremental steps the government is taking to gradually return the state to normalcy by withdrawing restrictions. On October 10, the administration withdrew its earlier advisory that had urged all tourists to leave the Valley. On Friday, the government issued full-page advertisements in local newspapers, urging residents to return to normal life without fear from militants.
“The government urges businessmen, industrialists, traders, transporters, shopkeepers, hoteliers and contractors not to be frightened by the threats of terrorists and separatists and go about their normal activities,” the administration said on Saturday.
An administration official said that Kashmir residents will have to wait a while more for internet services to be restored.
Now, follow and debate the day’s most significant stories on Scroll Exchange.