M A I N   N E W S

Free phone facility for quake-hit
Tribune News Service

Srinagar, October 19
The BSNL today commissioned free telephone services for the quake-hit for contacting their relatives across the LoC. The services would be available for 15 days at four destinations in the state.

Announcing this here today, the Union Home Secretary, Mr V.K. Duggal said the services were commissioned at the Srinagar police control room, the Central Telegraph Office (CTO), Jammu, Uri and Tangdhar police stations.

These centres would remain open between 9 am and 5 pm daily, Mr Duggal said. He, however, evaded queries about the continuity of the facility in future.

He said this had been necessary to facilitate the people to know about the welfare of their relatives, without covering long distances.

Those who wished to contact people at places other than Muzaffarabad, the PoK capital, could do so by booking their calls at phone number 186.

Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Mufti Mohammad Sayeed has been urging the Central Government and appealed to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to open telephone link across the LoC. This, he said, was necessary in view of the recent earthquake that led to lot of anxieties about the welfare of the relatives on either side of the LoC.

He had also urged the Prime Minister to take immediate measures for an early restoration of the Srinagar-Muzaffarabad bus service. The vital link between Uri and Kaman Bridge (Aman Setu) was damaged in to the earthquake. The authorities concerned looking after the maintenance of the road believed that it would take about two months to make the link traffic worthy.

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