Landline services in 17 exchanges of Kashmir are restored on Saturday, August 17. Seventeen out of a little over 100 telephone exchanges were made operational. These exchanges are mainly in Civil Lines area, Cantonment area, airport of Srinagar district. The landline services have been restored in Budgam, Sonamarg and Manigam areas of central Kashmir. In north Kashmir, the services have been restored in Gurez, Tangmarg, Uri Keran Karnah and Tangdhar areas.
Earlier in the day, the 2G mobile internet services have been restored in some parts of Jammu and Kashmir on Saturday. The services have been restored 12 days in Jammu, Reasi, Samba, Kathua, and Udhampur around 1:00 pm. The Chief Secretary BVR Subrahmanyam had said on Friday in a press briefing that mobile services will be gradually restored in the valley. The landlines are expected to begin functioning across the region gradually as well.
The Chief Secretary on Friday said: "Keeping in view the evolving situation, as well as the cooperation of the people in maintaining calm and peace, we are now taking measures to ease the restrictions in a gradual manner. After today’s Friday prayers, there would be an easing of restrictions in the next few days in an orderly way. Schools will be opened after the weekend, areawise so that children’s studies do not suffer. As movement restrictions are removed area-by-area, public transport will start moving in these areas. Government offices have been made fully functional from today. Telecom connectivity will be gradually restored in a phased manner, keeping in mind the constant threat posed by terrorist organizations in using mobile connectivity to organize terror actions. Preventive detentions are being continuously reviewed and appropriate decisions will be made based on law and order assessments. It is expected that over the next few days, as the restrictions get eased, life in Jammu & Kashmir will become completely normal. This is already visible on the roads which have seen a steady return of regular traffic."
Earlier on Friday, the Supreme Court said that it will wait for some time before passing any orders on the situation in Jammu and Kashmir on a plea that it heard seeking the removal of restrictions of media in the erstwhile state. The restrictions were imposed in the wake of abrogation of Article 370 which revoked the special status given to the J&K. During the hearing, the Centre told the apex court that the situation is improving in Jammu and Kashmir and the curbs are being lifted gradually.
A Top Court bench headed by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi and comprising of Justices S A Bobde and S A Nazeer was hearing the petitions filed by advocate ML Sharma and Executive Editor of Kashmir Times, Anuradha Bhasin, and said that it would take some more time before passing the verdict.