Halting e-Commerce
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Halting e-Commerce

From last five months, the courier boys are not able to deliver their shipments, resulting in stoppage of deliveries by these companies to Kashmir.

Continuous shutdown, curfews and internet ban has badly hit e-commerce business in Kashmir putting on stake jobs of thousands of courier boys working for the shipping companies.

From last five months, the courier boys are not able to deliver their shipments, resulting in stoppage of deliveries by these companies to Kashmir.   

After the killing of Hizbul Mujahideen Commander Burhan Wani on July 9, which was followed by mass uprising all national and local online shopping companies decided to 'halt' their service to Kashmir resulting in business losses as well as job loss threats to the thousands of people working with the courier companies in Kashmir.

"5,000 courier boys are working with more than 20 companies operating in Kashmir and majority of them are out of work these days," said Zahoor Qari, president Courier Service Providers Association. 

He said while one or two courier service providers have resumed partly their work, most of the companies are reluctant to do so. 

"Neither the courier companies nor the online shopping companies are going to take the risk to deliver items which probably may remain 'trapped' in warehouses," Qari said.

"Our business was well flourishing with the increasing demand for online shopping which is currently unavailable," says Danish Yusuf, a receptionist at a local courier company.

"With losses pilling up we are sitting 'idle' as there is no work since five months," Mohsin Ahmed, a courier boy said.

However, Mohsin believes that situation is Kashmir is improving fast and requests the companies to resume their services here once again. 

Meanwhile, officials at General Post Office (GPO) Srinagar informed that the, deliveries across Kashmir could not be possible due to unavoidable circumstances. 

"Our offices could not work properly in the unrest while customers are themselves reaching here to take their parcels," said an official.

On the other hand shoppers continue to feel annoyed as the exclusive companies like Amazon, EBay, Snapdeal and Flipkart is not yet delivering their items to Kashmir in the prevailing situation. 

It is pretty annoying when you are trying to buy any product online and it shows "the item cannot be delivered to your location", Mohammad Arslan, a shopper said.

"I usually prefer online shopping but this time I could not buy even a "single item" on my wedding," says Abrar, a shopper.

 "I usually prefer online shopping but this time I could not buy even a "single item" on my wedding," says Abrar Altaf, a shopper.

Since the 4G companies are rolling over, the need for 4G 'volte' phones became necessary, however in Kashmir people are not able to avail 4G benefits in the absence of online shopping that provide customers list of mobile phone brands with varied choice and discounted benefits, a local tech expert informed.

"I have 'missed' plenty of online offers on different shopping websites during Eid, Gurupurab and Diwali festivals." says Sameer Ahmed from Bemina.

Adding that 'demonetization' pushed e-commerce firms to offer huge discounts which also could not avail by shoppers here.

However, on August 13 and September 14, broadband services were also snapped. Mobile internet services were finally restored on November 18 although, prepaid mobile internet services continues to remain blocked.

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