To meet the October 31 deadline for the switch-over from cable TV to the digital mode in the four metro cities, the entertainment tax department plans a drive against local cable operators who have not installed set-top boxes despite requests from customers.
The move follows complaints that some cable operators are not installing the devices even as the digitisation deadline draws closer, officials said.
"Cable operators claim that 70% connections have already gone digital and set-top boxes installed. But we are getting complaints that the operators have kept the devices with themselves," said an entertainment tax department official.
"In such cases, the consumers should report the matter to the sub-divisional magistrate or our offices," the official added.
Some people, the officials said, were uncertain about the cost of the device and whether their cable bills would inflate.
"The set-top boxes that are being distributed by the cable operators are cheaper than those being sold by direct-to-home service providers. The websites of multiple-system operators - who provide service to cable operators - have all the information. We are hosting the information on our website, too," said another official.
The ministry of information and broadcasting has made digitisation of cable networks mandatory for everyone in Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai and Kolkata by October 31. While most cable TV connections have been digitalised in the other cities, Delhi lags behind. Union information and broadcasting minister Ambika Soni had met chief minister Sheila Dikshit a fortnight ago to make a push for the digitisation programme.
"It was only after the request from cable operators that the deadline of digitisation was extended earlier from June 20 to October 31. The Union information and broadcasting ministry has now ruled out another extension of the deadline," an official said.