Srinagar, Jan 8: Half of the ladies special buses started by the government in 2016 have stopped plying while the remaining ones hardly find commuters.
On the directions of Chief Minister, Mehbooba Mufti, the women-exclusive bus service was started in April 2016.
Six special buses from Jammu and Kashmir State Road Transport Corporation (JKSRTC) and three from private operators were operating regularly from 8 am to 6 pm on various routes.
“They have failed to properly publicize the service due to which it couldn’t become a success,” said 22-year-old science student Rabiya Ahmad.
She said the timings were not suitable authorities.
Commuters complain that these buses are sometimes seen ferrying male passengers as well.
“Some time ago, I saw male passengers in these buses,” said Farheen Khan, a research scholar at NIT, Srinagar.
An official of JKSRTC informed that private operators have already stopped their service for females.
“Government should be more proactive and chart out a proper plan if they really want female folk to avail themselves of this service,” he added.
Managing Director JKSRTC, Mir Afroz, said the buses were getting “a poor response”.
“Our buses are still operational. In fact, we recently extended this service to Ganderbal,” he said.
Lockdown fallout: Anxiety, depression cases surge in Kashmir
Srinagar, Oct 15: Fifty-year-old Fatima (name changed) feels jitters when she recalls the night she saw an SOS from her younger brother flashing on the television news channel.
“Call me immediately,” flashed the message on the scroll of a TV channel. The world blackened out for Fatima when she read the message from her younger brother.
It was after four weeks post abrogation of state’s special status that she heard from her younger brother, who works in a private company in Middle East.
Crushed by apprehensions triggered by the sudden message on TV, Fatima developed frequent panic attacks, which landed her at the Government Psychiatric hospital, Rainawari.
“My wife kept on saying that something bad has happened to him. Despite our reassurances, she was bogged down by negative thoughts which became the reason for the panic attacks,” lamented her husband.
Moreover, he was not able to contact his brother-in-law as there was no functional land-line in the neighborhood. “Going to DC office was out of question given the severe restrictions from our side at that time,” he said
Similarly 45-year-old Tabassum (name changed) was hovered by the negative thoughts of her daughter’s bleak future which landed her in depression.
She hoped that her daughter will benefit from the 50 percent quota reserved for the female MBBS students.
After the abrogation of article 370, she apprehended that the Centre would do away with the quota, thus, crushing her daughter’s dreams of becoming a doctor.
“She cried very easily. Her recurrent question would be: Will the government revoke the quota?” said her sister.
A senior consultant at the Psychiatric hospital termed the abrogation of Article 370 as “precipitating” and “perpetuating” factor to the conflict that is already 30 decades old.
“So many Kashmiris studying and working outside couldn’t contact their family members. Those living in Kashmir couldn’t contact their near and dear ones outside the valley, or for that matter inside the vale. This heightened the anxiety levels,” he said
The doctor noted that only 5-10 percent of patients reported at the hospital in August as the patient inflow was impeded by the lockdown.
“In the beginning phase of the communication lockdown, we couldn’t see many patients at the hospitals. They couldn’t reach here due to restrictions. Our essential services were also impacted,” he said.
The doctor asserted that the long terms effects of the ongoing crisis will be worse. “There will be more of depression, post-traumatic stress disorders, and acute stress disorders,” he said.
Omar sporting beard: Image shared on social media
Srinagar, Oct 15: A day after the mobile services were resumed in the Kashmir valley, the first image of the National Conference (NC) leader Omar Abdullah surfaced on social media.
Abdullah’s latest picture is doing rounds on Twitter and WhatsApp. The picture was reportedly taken when the NC delegation met him in Srinagar.
With a grey beard and short hair, Abdullah looks totally different than what he used to look prior to his detention.
The image is shared by various journalists.
Last month, reports surfaced that Omar had pronounced that he would not shave his beard till his release.
Reports also claimed that Abdullah spends time watching Hollywood movies and working out at the gym.
Along with Omar, his father Farooq Abdullah and Mehbooba Mufti were also put into house arrest after the Narendra Modi government scrapped the special status of Jammu and Kashmir by diluting the Article 370.
The vice-president of the NC is detained at the government guesthouse at Hari Niwas Palace in Srinagar, while PDP chief Mufti is placed under detention at a JKTDC-owned hut at Chashma Shahi.
Initially, both the leaders were lodged at Hari Niwas Palace.
On Monday, the Jammu and Kashmir administration resumed postpaid mobile services in the Valley.
The mobile services were shut down after the Centre’s decision to abrogate provisions of Article 370. However, prepaid and internet services will remain suspended for now. The Valley has around 66 lakh mobile users out of which 40 lakh use postpaid facilities.
NIT Srinagar reopens
Srinagar, Oct 15: The National Institute of Technology (NIT) here reopened on Tuesday after being shut for two-and-a-half months.
The institution was closed in view of security concerns in the region post abrogation of Article 370 and the students who belonged to states other than Jammu and Kashmir were sent home.
“All the students were much tensed as the institution was closed for many days following the abrogation of the article 370. Now when it has finally re-opened we all are very excited and happy that we can continue our studies,” Praful, a student told ANI.
Mobile services were also restored in J&K on Monday after a span of over two months since the central government’s move to repeal Article 370 that accorded special status to the region.
The decision to restore mobile phone services came days after Jammu and Kashmir Governor Satya Pal Malik announced the withdrawal of security advisory for tourists from October 10.
The administration had also said that tourists desirous of visiting the region will be provided with the necessary assistance and logistic support. (ANI)