New Delhi: Bharat Sanchar Nigam Ltd. (BSNL) has restored 85% of its network, taking telecom services in the flood-hit Kashmir valley and Jammu region closer to normalisation.

Private operators Vodafone and Aircel said they have also resumed connectivity in most parts of the Kashmir valley.

A BSNL official told PTI that the state-run firm has about 1,173 base transceiver stations (BTS) or mobile towers in the state and 934 are now working. The firm has been able to restore 15 mobile towers and one landline exchange in South Kashmir, which is still under water. BSNL has also entered into an intra-circle roaming pact with Aircel for 15 days in order to provide connectivity to its users.

“With the support and co-operation of the government authorities, Vodafone today is one of the top operators providing maximum coverage in the valley. We are also ensuring connectivity to subscribers through the intra-circle roaming (ICR) arrangement with other private operators," Vodafone said in a statement. Vodafone said it has around 700 sites (including ICR) providing coverage in the valley.

Aircel has restored its 2G services in most part of the Kashmir region.

The firm has 2.1 million customers in the Jammu and Kashmir (J&K) region. Aircel is working with the local administration and the Army to ensure seamless connectivity on its 2G and 3G network in the region.

Reliance Communications Ltd. (R-Com) said its BTSes in most critically-hit areas are now up and running in the Kashmir valley, including in the worst-hit South Kashmir area.

“R-Com’s own network is now operational at nearly 80 sites in the valley. Through its roaming arrangements with other operators, R-Com subscribers are now able to access services via more than 200 BTS," the company said.

Airtel said it is working round the clock with local authorities to restore connectivity across the state. PTI

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