After Snowfall, Semblance Of Normalcy In Kashmir
Srinagar: Heavy snowfall seems to have spurred normalcy in Kashmir, after three months of a shutdown in the valley after the abrogation of Article 370 on August 5.
Increased movement of public transport, opening up of shops for longer duration and vendors resuming their business pointed to a return of normalcy in the region on Wednesday.
Heavy snowfall on November 7 had brought life to a standstill and disrupted power supply to Kashmir.
It took the authorities three days to repair the damaged electricity poles and transmission lines across Kashmir.
“Earlier, mornings used to see brisk business, but snowfall has slowed down activities in Kashmir for the last couple of days,” said Alim Muhammad, a shopkeeper at Lal Chowk in Srinagar. “We now keep open till noon to make up for the losses suffered.”
A shutdown was triggered in Kashmir following the scrapping of Article 370 on August 5. The government had deployed more than one lakh CRPF and police to keep a lid on the situation. It also suspended landline and mobile communications and the Internet.
The landlines and mobile voice calls were restored after several weeks but the Internet continues to be down.
On November 12, the shutdown in Kashmir completed 100 days.
Before the snowfall the shops used to open for a couple of hours in the mornings and evenings, but after the snowfall the situation seems to have changed.
“I was mostly working from my home since the shutdown but for the last two days I am working from my shop,” said Raju, a barber in Batmalloo Srinagar.
Public transport which has remained off the roads for the last three months is also making a comeback with minibusses plying on some routes in Srinagar.
However, it will be interesting to see whether Kashmir will witness full normalcy at the onset of the winter or those seeking to prolong the shutdown resist normalcy.