Cable operators? dharna from today | india | Hindustan Times
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Cable operators? dharna from today

WITH TV screen in the City homes still blank after rampant cable cutting, the cable operators have decided to go on strike from Sunday alleging that the administration has been pressurising them to start services instead of errant Multi-System Operator (MSO). The operators said that they are unable to start the services in the prevailing circumstances.

india Updated: May 28, 2006 14:01 IST

WITH TV screen in the City homes still blank after rampant cable cutting, the cable operators have decided to go on strike from Sunday alleging that the administration has been pressurising them to start services instead of errant Multi-System Operator (MSO). The operators said that they are unable to start the services in the prevailing circumstances.

The operators alleged that the cable war was a result of the fight among the cable operators over increasing the area of operation. The operators would sit on dharna on Sunday at Tin Shed from 10 am in protest against providing direct connections to the consumers by an MSO. The men hired by the MSOs recently cut the cables all over the City, hampering signals in 90 per cent areas.

According to the cable operators, the BTV covers 60 per cent of the areas while Raj TV has 40 per cent of areas under its operation at present.

Earlier, Raj TV had more areas than BTV. The recent cable war was triggered by the change of this equation. It is learnt that one of the MSOs was providing direct connection to the consumers in some areas at a rate of Rs 100 per connection. This caused further bad blood.

The operators said that this is violation of rules set by the cable operators and MSOs. The cable operators are now demanding that the MSOs should settle their dispute at the earliest, as this has been hampering their business. The operators said that the dispute among the MSOs and the cable cutting have become a routine affair.

In order to press for this demand, most of the cable operators are not providing signals to the consumers. It is being claimed that MSOs have connected all the areas by laying new cables or connecting old cables. The MSOs claimed to have started operations in some of the areas. But the cables could be seen lying on the road in some parts of the City.

Bhopal Cable Operators Association president Arvind Agrawal said that the MSOs should decided their own area of operations in order to end the ongoing war. Agrawal, who is also an office-bearer of the State Cable Operators Association, said that the operators have decided to sit on dharna because the administration has not given any assurance to nab the people involved in the cable cutting.

Meanwhile, the cable operators and representatives of MSOs held several meetings with the police and district administration officials. However, no agreement could be reached during these meetings.

When asked, ADM M B Ojha claimed that the cable operations in some parts of the City have already started. The administration is pressurising the MSOs and the cable operators to resume services as per the existing rules.

The administration would take strict action against those hampering the services, he cautioned.  The Excise Department has also served notices to some cable operators due to alleged irregularities in the payment of taxes. The notices were given to six cable operators including Arvind Agrawal, president of Bhopal Cable Operators Association.