SRINAGAR, Sept 5: Authorities in Kashmir have restored 19 more landline telephone exchanges, a month after the telephone services were snapped and there were restrictions in parts of Srinagar mostly in old city areas where there is Shia population to prevent Muharram processions.
Landline telephone connections started working in commercial hub of Lal Chowk and Press Colony early today. But many landlines had only incoming calling facility while outgoing facility was barred. The BSNL authorities, however, said that they have restored both incoming and outgoing facilities of the customers.
After 19 telephone exchanges were restored, the number of functional landlines in the Valley is around 80 per cent. However, no decision has been yet taken on restoration of mobile telephone and internet services on all platforms.
Meanwhile, there was more movement of private vehicles on the roads of the city but shutdown in the Valley continued for the 32nd day today. Markets and other business establishments remained closed while public transport was off the roads across the Valley today. A large number of private vehicles could be seen plying in many parts of the city. Some auto-rickshaws were also moving in Civil Line areas of the city for the first time.
The efforts of the State Government to open schools have not borne any result as parents continued to keep the kids at home due to apprehensions about their safety.
The Government offices are open but attendance in many offices was very thin. However, the attendance in the offices at Directorate level was good.
The restrictions under Section 144 CrPC, which were imposed last month, have been eased in most parts of Kashmir but there were no signs of end to the deadlock.
Restrictions continued in some old city areas where security personnel have bean deployed in strength to maintain law and order in view of a youth succumbing to injuries at SKIMS hospital here yesterday.
There were restrictions in Shia dominated areas of Srinagar as well to prevent Muharram processions in these areas. Yesterday in Saida Kadal area police and security forces fired tearsmoke to disperse Shia mourners.
There were restrictions on the movement in Saida Kadal, Hazratbal and Ashai Bagh areas of Srinagar to prevent Muharram processions. Security forces were heavily deployed in these areas and roads were blocked with concertina wire and iron barricades.