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UP Investors Summit 2018: TV operators cry foul over removal of cables in Lucknow

Cable television operators have claimed that the authorities have removed wires supplying signals to one lakh homes in Lucknow ahead of the UP investors summit scheduled on February 21 and 22.

lucknow Updated: Feb 15, 2018 13:43 IST
Anupam Srivastava
Anupam Srivastava
Hindustan Times, Lucknow
Lucknow,TV cable operators,Lucknow Electricity Supply Administration
“The cable TV operators were served notice by the entertainment tax department to remove the wires well in advance.”(Getty Images)

Cable television operators have claimed that the authorities have removed wires supplying signals to one lakh homes in Lucknow ahead of the UP investors summit scheduled on February 21 and 22.

Tony Sikka, director of Sikka Cables Network, said the cables were cut off from the poles by the authorities.

An official of the district administration said, “Besides spoiling the skyline, they (cables) are not allowing the poles to get painted. The cable operators were not paying a single penny for the poles, which they were using for their business. So, the district administration reserves the right to remove any sort of encroachment from its poles.”

Lucknow Electricity Supply Administration (LESA) general manager, trans-Gomti, Pradeep Kakkar said, “There was a mesh of cable wires on LESA poles which had to be cleaned before the investors’ summit. The cable TV operators were served notice by the entertainment tax department to remove the wires well in advance. They didn’t follow the order and the district authorities had to remove them (cables).”

Additional municipal commissioner PK Srivastava said, “The LMC (Lucknow Municipal Corporation) poles are for street lights, not for the cable network. If they want to have their cable, they can raise their poles with the permission of the authorities.”

The cable operators claim some of the affected areas include Indira Nagar, Eldeco Greens, Vibhuti Khand, Hazratganj and Ashok Marg.

Sunil Jolly, director of the Den network, said, “There is a cable TV blackout in over one lakh houses of the city. Cable transmission is also disturbed in 22 other cities of the state because our wires have been cut by the district administration without any prior notice. We welcome the investors’ summit, but not at our expense. We are happy that the state government is inviting investors to the city, but why is it hurting those who have already invested in the state?”

“Around 300 km of cables worth Rs 10 crore have already been damaged. If at all we have to lay the cables again, it will take at least a month to do so.”

“There is not enough cable available in the city to replace the ones cut by the authorities,” said Jolly.

“Cable television in the city is a Rs 300 crore industry but it has suffered a body blow this time. It will take some time for the recovery of the business,” says Neeraj Yadav of Netvision which says it is not able to telecast programmes in 22 districts.

BLACKOUT THREAT?

A leading TV cable operator has said those in the trade are seriously thinking of a statewide blackout of cable TV programmes on February 21 and 22 during the investors summit in the state capital if they are not allowed to use electricity and street light poles for spreading their wires.

Sunil Jolly of Den network says, “We humbly want to say that pulling down of cables by the district administration has hurt the cable business. We have incurred a loss of Rs 10 crore. Besides, one lakh households will not pay us because they will not receive the cable transmission till the lines are restored.”

First Published: Feb 15, 2018 13:43 IST