Landline services in 17 exchanges of Kashmir restored, 50,000 lines reopened

PTI

Srinagar: Security personnel stand guard during restrictions following the abrogation of the provisions of Article 370, in Srinagar, Friday, Aug 16, 2019. Most phone lines in the Valley will be gradually restored over the weekend and schools will reopen area-wise next week, a top Jammu and Kashmir official said on Friday while announcing the easing of restrictions in a phased and 'orderly way'. (PTI Photo)

Srinagar: Security personnel stand guard during restrictions following the abrogation of the provisions of Article 370, in Srinagar, Friday, Aug 16, 2019. Most phone lines in the Valley will be gradually restored over the weekend and schools will reopen area-wise next week, a top Jammu and Kashmir official said on Friday while announcing the easing of restrictions in a phased and ‘orderly way’. (PTI Photo)

More than 50,000 landline phones were made operational on Saturday after services in 17 exchanges of the Kashmir Valley were restored after a period of about 12 days, officials said.

Seventeen out of a little over 100 telephone exchanges were made operational. These exchanges are mainly in Civil Lines area, Cantonment area, airport of Srinagar district, they said.

The officials said 20 more exchanges will be operational soon.

The restoration of exchanges had enabled landline services in Budgam, Sonamarg and Manigam areas of central Kashmir.

In north Kashmir, the services have been restored in Gurez, Tangmarg, Uri Keran Karnah and Tangdhar areas. In south Kashmir, the landline services have been made operational in Qazigund and Pahalgam areas.

Telephone line services, including mobile phones and landlines, were suspended in the early hours of August 5 when the Centre abrogated provisions of Article 370 that gave special status to Jammu and Kashmir.

“Telecom connectivity will be gradually restored in a phased manner, keeping in mind the constant threat posed by terrorist organisations in using mobile connectivity to organise terror actions. Preventive detentions are being continuously reviewed and appropriate decisions will be made based on law and order assessments,”Jammu and Kashmir Chief Secretary B V R Subhramanyam had said on Friday.

In implementing the decisions taken last fortnight, this history of cross-border terrorism required the government to put in place certain preventive steps as a precautionary measure, he had said.

An important factor in doing so were credible inputs that such terrorist organisations were planning to undertake strikes in the state in the immediate future, the chief secretary had said.

“A few preventive detentions of individuals were also made in accordance with the provisions of the law to maintain law and order and avoid breach of peace. Similar measures have had to be taken in the past following violent incidents,” he had said.

(PTI)