SRINAGAR — Taking a cue apparently from National Security Advisor Ajit Doval, who continues to interact with local residents in Srinagar, the Jammu and Kashmir administration has now instructed all officers including Deputy Commissioners and non gazetted officers to "meet at least 20 families" on a daily basis. Besides such interactions with people, the administration has set up 400 telephone booths across the Valley to facilitate communications affected by disconnecting cellular services.
Highly placed sources in the Governor's office said that all efforts are being made to bring normalcy in the Valley before the Eid celebrations begin Aug. 12. The officers of the district administration deployed in various civil duties have been ordered to reach the homes of at least 20 families to discuss and resolve their day-to-day problems. For distribution of grocery items, large number mobile vans have been deployed in Srinagar and other sensitive towns of South Kashmir. The Chief Secretary's office is also ensuring that medical facilities (including deployment of ambulances) reach the local residents as curfew has affected working of government and private hospitals.
Despite curfew-like restrictions in all the sensitive towns of the Valley, a large number of Kashmiris living outside the Valley are reaching Srinagar by flight to join their families on the eve of Eid. The state Director General of Police, Dilbagh Singh, has instructed the police those reaching Srinagar should be given transport facility on a priority basis to reach their homes.
On Aug. 8 evening, Prime Minister Narendra Modi, while addressing the nation on the latest decisions on Kashmir, had given an assurance that people would not face difficulties during Eid-ul-Adha celebrations. "The government is providing every possible help to our friends who live outside Jammu and Kashmir and want to go back for Eid," the prime minister said. He acknowledged that amid a communication breakdown in the state, the people were facing various problems.
Governor Satya Pal Malik has also provided funds to the local administration for celebration of Eid for students who are studying in residential educational institutions and are not able to return home. Meanwhile, on Aug. 9, National Security Advisor Ajit Doval was seen in downtown Srinagar, interacting with people on the streets. Doval has been camping in the Valley for the past several days and monitoring the situation from Ground Zero.