Nearly 40 lakh postpaid mobile phone connections became operational in Kashmir Valley from Monday noon. The announcement for the restoration of postpaid mobile phone services was made by Jammu and Kashmir Principle Secretary and Spokesman Rohit Kansal at a nationally televised press conference. Kansal further said more than 20 lakh prepaid mobile phones and mobile and other internet services will remain deactivated for now.
"Having reviewed the situation in Jammu and Kashmir, a decision has been taken to restore mobile phone facilities in all the remaining areas of Jammu and Kashmir," Kansal said.
"More specifically, all postpaid mobile phones, irrespective of the telecom service provider, will stand restored and be functional from 12 noon on Monday, 14 October 2019," he said while reading out from a statement at the conference.
Kansal said the decision is for all 10 districts of the Kashmir province.
"With this step, tourists will be able to visit the state without being handicapped by the lack of phone connectivity, students can be in touch with parents while attending school, businessmen can be in touch with customers, transporters can contact clients and contractors can be in touch with staff," Kansal said.
"Tourists are welcome to visit the state and they will be facilitated for their visit. Internet facilities are being opened at tourist places to assist tourists," he said.
Kansal was also asked when political leaders, including former chief ministers Farooq Abdullah, Mehbooba Mufti and Omar Abdullah, and activists would be released.
"I have been emphasising, reiterating and sharing that the developments post August 5 and the security assessment that was made required a certain kind of action which included detaining the leaders," he said.
"These decisions were taken at the local level by law enforcing authorities after taking all factors into consideration. Detentions are being continuously reviewed and if there are persons who have been detained, there have been people who were released.
"This is a dynamic process. The security situation will continue to be assessed in a dynamic manner, people will continue to be released. This process will go on," he 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 are working.
The mobile services in Jammu and Kashmir were shut down on August 5 after the Centre announced in New Delhi the abrogation of the special status guaranteed to the state under Article 370 of the Constitution.
Partial fixed-line telephony was resumed in the valley on August 17 and by September 4 all landlines, numbering nearly 50,000, 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 August 18.