Two months after the Centre imposed a communications blackout in Jammu and Kashmir, postpaid mobile phones are to be restored across the region from Monday, in a major step towards easing curbs.
Earlier in August, the government had imposed several restrictions across Jammu and Kashmir before revoking the special status of the state and bifurcating it.
Here are more details.
J&K Principal Secretary announced restoration of postpaid mobile phone services
At a news briefing on Saturday, J&K Principal Secretary Rohit Kansal said, "All postpaid mobile phones will be restored from noon Monday."
Around 40 lakh subscribers of postpaid phone connections run by all operators will be revived.
However, this excludes 26 lakh prepaid mobile subscribers.
Furthermore, officials said that J&K residents will have to wait for some more time until internet services are resumed.
Postpaid mobile phone services were to resume Saturday. What happened?
Earlier, postpaid mobile phone services were to resume on Saturday, however, a technical glitch at the last minute led to authorities postponing the restoration of network services, according to PTI.
Reportedly, it was previously planned that full services will be restored for subscribers of BSNL, which was then changed to allowing incoming calls for networks run by private telecom operators.
Communications snapped in J&K since August 5
To recall, the government had imposed several restrictions in J&K when on August 5, it announced the revocation of the state's special status by abrogating Article 370 and bifurcating the state into two Union Territories.
To prevent an anticipated backlash against the move, the Centre extracted tourists from the region ahead of time, and also detained political leaders, snapped communication lines, and deployed troops.
Restrictions on communication system slowly relaxed in J&K
After the restrictions were imposed, communications were restored in Jammu within days. Reportedly, mobile internet was also briefly revived in mid-August but was suspended again to check rumor-mongering.
Meanwhile in Kashmir, too, the communication blockade was slowly eased. Partial fixed-line telephony was resumed on August 17.
Furthermore, on September 4, more than 50,000 landline phones were declared operational in Kashmir.
Government recently allowed tourists to visit J&K
Notably, the government reopened Jammu and Kashmir to tourists. Expectedly, tourism took a hit since curfew-like restrictions were imposed in the state. However, travel association bodies had told the administration that tourists wouldn't choose to visit a region where mobile phones do not work.