Shops reopen, public transport back on roads in Kashmir

PTI file photo

Life has started limping back to normalcy in the Valley after 100-days of spontaneous shutdown in the wake of the Centre’s decision to abrogate the special status of Jammu and Kashmir under Article 370.

While public transport has gradually started to hit back on the roads across Kashmir, shopkeepers too have started to re-open their businesses. In the city centre Lal Chowk, where shops used to remain open only from 7 am to 9 am, for the last four days, most of the business establishments remain open throughout the day.

Markets in the old city and other parts of Srinagar also remain open throughout the day from the last four days. In the civil lines areas of the city, normal hustle-n-bustle could be witnessed in markets.

“More than three months of the shutdown has crippled us economically and if we see in the past also strikes have yielded nothing for Kashmiris. It is better to say goodbye to this shutdown culture once for all, otherwise, a day will come when we will have nothing to eat,” a shopkeeper at Lal Chowk, wishing anonymity told DH.

Public transport which remained off the roads for over three months has also started to operate normally with intra and inter-district cab and bus service see plying on various routes. “We were incurring huge financial losses and second people were suffering immensely due to the absence of public transport. From Monday onwards, we decided to resume our service,” an office-bearer of a transport union said.

Intra-Kashmir train service too resumed partially from Monday. Authorities have decided to resume the service fully from November 16 much to the delight of commuters.

However, pre-paid mobile phone and internet services continue to remain snapped across Kashmir. Post-paid mobile services and landlines were restored gradually till October 14 but without messaging facility.

Though board exams are ongoing, schools, colleges and other educational institutions continue to remain shut. While teachers in most of the schools are attending their duties, students continue to stay away from classes.

Dozens of political leaders, including three former chief ministers- Farooq Abdullah his son Omar Abdullah and Mehbooba Mufti – continue to remain under detention since August 5.

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