Amid no internet, people throng TRC to book flight tickets

Irfan Tramboo
Srinagar, Sept 2: With all lines of communication, particularly the internet being down for more than 25 days now, those intending to travel outside are gathering at the Tourist Reception Centre (TRC) Srinagar to book their tickets.
In order to facilitate people, the Government has established the ticketing counter for general public more than a week ago. Earlier, people used to go to the airport for making the bookings. However, now people from various districts in hundreds are regularly thronging the TRC, where two counters have been kept for their convenience.
Abdul Hamid had to come from Budgam to book his flight ticket to New Delhi. He had to come early in the morning and was able to make the reservation around noon.
“Before this, my cousin had to travel to Delhi, at that time the counters were not established here and we had to go to the airport,” he said.
Among people, majority is that of students who had come for vacations nearly a month ago and are now intending to go back to their respective places. While some of the students have decided to stay back, some had to report back for the examinations. Some of the students had come home on Eid to inquire about the well being of their family members amid communications blockade.
“I had come home before August 5, but then all of a sudden things took a turn; everything came to a grinding halt; now my college in Dehradun has announced the dates for the examination, which I confirmed from a friend and I must report back,” said Adil Qayoom of Srinagar.
Also, among people are those who have to take their patients for follow-ups outside the J&K. The family members of such patients have somehow fixed the appointments and are to now travel along with them.
“It took me more than 5 days to fix the appointment with the doctor in Bhopal due to the non-availability of modes of communication; though my patient was already given a date of the appointment, I just had to confirm to them that we are coming. Then the next tough job was to book the ticket,” said Altaf Ahmad, a resident of Dalgate.
He made rounds of Deputy Commissioner’s office in Srinagar, where, in the beginning the bookings were made, but to no avail. “I went there for more than two days, but there was rush of people; then they established the counter here it was nearby and it was possible that I might get my turn quickly,” he said.
People are demanding that more such counters must be established across the Valley so that they do not have to come to Srinagar from other districts and that additional counters will decrease the rush as well.
“Now that everything is down, the administration must open more such counters in the districts in order to facilitate people who are facing immense hardships and are intending to travel,” people who had gathered at the counter said.