Life amid shutdown: Big business losses, inaccessible healthcare, students suffer

KT NEWS SERVICE. Dated: 9/24/2019 1:04:44 AM

SRINAGAR, Sep 22: Normal life remained affected for the 49th consecutive day today in Kashmir due to the spontaneous shutdown after the abrogation of Articles 370 and 35A and division of J&K state into two union territories on August 5.
Officials said there were no restrictions on the movement of people and vehicles in any part of Valley today. However, Section 144 continues to remain enforced.
Shops and others business establishments continue to remain closed and public transport is off the roads. However, private vehicles are plying on a number of roads. Some shops open in some areas early in the morning and close around 9.00 AM. Reports said that shopkeepers at Lal Chowk and its adjoining areas have decided not to open shops in the morning hours also till September 28.
Even as no restrictions are in force but heavy deployment of security forces continue on the roads and markets. The security men have set up check points at several places and stop the vehicles for checking.
The mobile phone and internet facilities continue to be suspended in Kashmir causing lot of inconvenience to people. There is no word from officials as to when exactly these services will be restored. The landline phone service was restored some time back. But people in many areas complain that they are not able to make or receive international calls from their landline phones.
The shutdown and restrictions have badly hit the business in Kashmir. Some reports said the business community has suffered a loss of over Rs 45,000 crores, while the mobile phone operators have suffered losses over Rs 93 crore.
Because of the lack of internet in the hospital, the patients under below poverty line are unable to get the financial benefits provided by central government’s health schemes for last 49 days. They continue to suffer and are unable to get the medical treatment as per the requirements.
The students are unable to appear in online examinations and get online coaching. A number of students said that the small number of computers with internet facility, available at district headquarters, are insufficient and have demanded increase in the number of computers in view of the huge rush.



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