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Cable operators threaten blackout

Cable operators threaten blackout

india Updated: Apr 26, 2006 01:17 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent

FOLLOWING A clash over the increasing area of operations and direct feeding of cable TV to consumers by an MSO in some localities, about 300 cable operators today threatened total blackout of cable services from April 28 in the State capital. The cable operators would go on token strike from 6 pm to 8 pm on Wednesday.

The Bhopal Cable Operators Association today submitted memorandum to different authorities seeking intervention in the matter. On Monday, there was a violent conflict between the employees of an MSO — Raj TV — and a cable operator of Arera Colony.

At a press conference today, the office-bearers of the Bhopal Cable Operators Association, Pankaj Sirohi, Arvind Agrawal, Sonu Saraswat and others alleged that one of the MSOs has been providing direct connections to the consumers resulting in clashes.

The operators said that there had been no violence between the MSO and the operators during the past 15-20 month. But now, false cases against the operators were being lodged, they alleged.

The operators said that the cable operators were doing this business since a long period and MSOs joined later. The Bhopal Cable Operators Association also threatened that it would not pay any tax in case the government authorities failed to sort out this problem.

The Association claimed that the cable operators of the State capital were paying annual tax worth Rs 4.5 crore to the State Government’s Excise Department.

The Association demanded that the MSOs should only provide signals to the cable operators and not to the consumers. They said that it was the responsibility of administration to provide protection to the cable operators. Earlier, the cable operators held a meeting and submitted the memorandum to the IG, Bhopal, Sanjeev Singh. The operators also said that they would stage a dharna at Roshanpura from Friday.

They claimed that the cable operators were united on this issue. In the first week of this month, there was total cable blackout in the City due to large-scale cable-cutting. The cable operations remained affected for two days from April 1. The reason behind the cable-cutting was rivalry between two MSOs — Raj TV and BTV — being respectively run by the owners of newspapers Raj Express and Dainik Bhaskar.

First Published: Apr 26, 2006 01:17 IST