Residents make a beeline to renew landline connections

SRINAGAR: The long-forgotten landline phones are back in demand in Srinagar city as mobile phones and internet remain suspended in the region for more than a month.

editorial@tribune.com

ibune News Service

Srinagar, September 11

The long-forgotten landline phones are back in demand in Srinagar city as mobile phones and internet remain suspended in the region for more than a month.

The landline phones – now the most prized communication device – were restored across the region in the last two weeks as the blanket communication suspension was eased and BSNL exchanges were allowed to resume services.

The restoration of landline phones has encouraged hundreds of residents to queue outside BSNL exchanges to pay their pending bills. The residents who had shut their landline phones also queue up to restore their connections.

Zahoor Ahmad, a resident of Srinagar’s old city, said the first thing he did after the landline phones were restored was going to the nearest BSNL exchange.

“I thought the most important thing to do is to go to the exchange and make sure the bill is paid so the phone remains working,” he said.

Tanveer Ahmad, a resident of Srinagar’s Chatabal locality, said he had kept the landline phone at his home available for neighbours as well.

“There are so many problems because of the communication suspension and when the landlines were restored, I made sure that my neighbours get a chance to call in cases of emergencies,” he said.

At the media facilitation centre set up by the state government to allow journalists access internet and phone services, the rush to make phone calls has drastically reduced after landline phones were restored.

During the initial weeks, nearly 300 calls were made from the single mobile phone kept for use of mediapersons.

In the past two weeks, since the Lal Chowk phone exchange was restored, the rush for phone calls at the facilitation centre has dropped to a few dozen calls a day.

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