Postpaid Mobile Phone Services Likely To Resume From Monday In Kashmir
Postpaid mobile services, which were slated to resume on Saturday in Kashmir, are likely to begin from Monday, said J&K Principal Secretary Rohit Kansal.
Restrictions were imposed 69 days ago after the Centre abrogated Jammu and Kashmir's special status.
The administration has been examining various options with regard to the suspension of mobile phone services. This has come under severe criticism for causing hardships to about 7 million residents of the Valley.
At one point, the administration planned to open only BSNL services and allowing only incoming calls run by private telecom operators. However, it has now decided to allow operationalisation of all postpaid phones run by all operators and used by 40 lakh subscribers. This will leave out about 26 lakh prepaid mobile subscribers.
The services were to be resumed on Saturday but a last-minute technical hitch led to a delay in resuming the services. The subscribers will have to, however, wait for some more time for the Internet services to resume in the valley, the administration said.
The move comes barely days after the Centre issued an advisory opening the valley for tourists. Travel association bodies had approached the administration, saying that no tourist would like to come to the valley where no mobile phones working.
The mobile services in Jammu and Kashmir were shut down on Aug. 5 after the Centre announced in New Delhi about the abrogation of the special status guaranteed to the state under Article 370 of the Constitution.
The administration resumed partial fixed-line telephony in the valley on Aug. 17, and by Sept. 4, all of the nearly 50,000 number lines were declared operational. In Jammu, the communication system was restored within days of the blockade and even mobile Internet was started around mid-August. However, after its misuse, the Internet facility on cellular phones was snapped on Aug. 18.