MUMBAI: The Assam Power Distribution Company Limited (APDCL) and Greater Guwahati Cable TV Operators’ Association (GGCTOA) still seem to be at loggerheads on the issue of the payment for the electric poles. After several meetings and deadlines, the issue remains unresolved.
The issue began in September last year when APDCL asked the cable operators in Assam to pay Rs 25 per electric pole per month. The issue has just stretched since then, the last set deadline for cable operators to pay Rs 25 as electric pole fee was 22 January. It was then that GGCTOA approached the Guwahati High Court. The High Court, in the hearing held on 29 January, has asked both parties to come on a consensus by 28 February.
“Let the required exercise be carried out as expeditiously as possible preferably within 28.02.2014, subject however, to the condition that petitioner shall pay the change of Rs 10 per pole for a period of one month i.e. up to 28.02.2014, which however is subject to the final outcome of the exercise required to be carried out in terms of the order and without prejudicing the rights and contentions of the parties. Needless to say that in the event of the prayer of the petitioners finds favour of APDCL authority, the said amount will be adjusted with future charge, if any, or refunded,” the Guwahati HC order reads.
However, now GGCTOA has written to the APDCL and has asked to disclose the number of poles used by the cable operators. “We have written to the APDCL on 3 February and have asked them to arrange for a meeting and also give us the complete data of the number of polls used by the cable operators and amount that has to be collected, since we do not have any such data with us,” informs GGCTOA general secretary Md Iquebal Ahmed.
The cable operators have also agreed to pay Rs 10 per electric pole per month in the interim. “But for that we will need the data. Also, if in this interim the APDCL can bring down the electric pole fee to Rs 10 or less, we will be happy. If it doesn’t, we will again approach the court,” adds Ahmed.
According to APDCL, 31,000 electric poles in Guwahati are being used by the cable operators. “The HC expects us to settle down issues before 28 February. We will decide on that in the coming days,” says APDCL public relation officer Chandra Mudoi, informing that they have received the letter from GGCTOA and will act on it soon.