With the deadline for installing a set top box ending on Wednesday, those who have not switched over from cable connections may face a TV blackout.
From Thursday, Information & Broadcasting Ministry and Broadcast Engineering Consultants India Limited officials will conduct field surveys to take stock of the situation, said sources in ministry.
According to a ministry release, till Tuesday 95% of cable homes in Delhi had installed set top boxes and the percentage will increase after the final dash on Wednesday. The figure is 97% per cent if DTH connections are included as well.
Local cable operators said there was a rush over the last two days among the people to get a set top box. Jasveer Singh of Sharp Vision, a cable company in Lajwanti Garden, said, “Because of the rush, there is a shortage, which is creating bit of a problem for both the operators as well as the consumers.”
According to the status report presented at a meeting of the revenue department on Wednesday, of the 29.39 lakh TV sets in the city, which includes 10.10 lakh who have DTH connections and 19.29 lakh viewers who use cable, 1.43 lakh are yet to get a set top box. It also revealed that there were over 50,000 new connections on Wednesday.
The meeting, which was attended by deputy commissioners and sub-divisional magistrates (SDMs), discussed areas such as the slum dwellings in east Delhi where the idea of set top boxes has not got a warm reception.
Ramesh Gupta, a cable operator in Sultanpuri, said of the 3,000 connections in his area, only 600 houses have bought set top boxes. “People used to pay R50-100 for cable, how can they pay R340 a month along with a one-time R800 for the set top boxes?” asked Gupta.