Srinagar/New Delhi (NVI): In a big respite to people of Jammu and Kashmir reeling under unprecedented communication lockdown since August 7 abrogation of special status to the state, the post-paid mobile phone services were restored on the state-run BSNL from noon on October 14.
The move will benefit 40 lakh post-paid mobile phone subscribers, particularly businessmen and those belonging to tourism industry. Mobile internet and broadband still continue to be blacked out in the Valley. Over 20 lakh prepaid mobile phones, and mobile and other internet services will remain deactivated for now.
The decision to restore mobile phone services comes days after Jammu and Kashmir Governor announced the withdrawal of security advisory for tourists from 10 October. The administration had also said that tourists desirous of visiting the region will be provided with the necessary assistance and logistic support.
J&K Principal Secretary Rohit Kansal had on October 12 said: “Having reviewed the situation, a decision has now been taken to restore mobile phone services in the remaining areas of Jammu and Kashmir. All post-paid mobile services, irrespective of the telecom operator will stand restored and be functional from noon, Monday, 14 October, 2019. This will cover all 10 districts of Kashmir province.”
All network and landline connections were suspended across Jammu and Kashmir on 5 August, in view of security concerns in the region following Centre’s decision to abrogate Article 370.
Although the landline network was restored in phases, restrictions remained on the usage of mobile devices in various parts of the Valley.
“Since 16 August there has been a gradual removal of the restrictions and by the first week of September most restrictions were removed, barring 8-10 police stations movement restrictions have now been completely removed. Over 99 per cent of the area of Jammu and Kashmir has absolutely no restriction on movement,” Kansal had said.
The Central government had on August 7 abrogated the special status granted to Jammu and Kashmir under Article 370 and also bifurcated the state into Union Territories of Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh.