Technology

Delhi power cos ordered not to cut cables of LCOs, MSOs

NEW DELHI: The warring cable TV operators and the power companies of Delhi have been forced into a temporary truce on the wire cutting issue, with Delhi principal secretary (Power) ordering the companies today to rent a pole at Rs 500 per year (in the interim) and then approach the Delhi Electricity Regulatory Authority (DERC) for finalising the tariff.













The multi-system operators (MSOs) and local cable operators (LCOs) have heaved a sigh of relief as the rampant cutting of their cables across Delhi will come to an end. They would also not have to pay the ‘astronomical’ figure of Rs 1,600 per pole per year as demanded by the companies.

 

The Delhi power companies are owned by the Tata (NDPL) and Reliance (BSES) groups.


The Power ministry has also assured the LCOs and MSOs, stated All India Cable Operators’ Association president Roop Sharma president, that it would write to both the Trai and the DERC to solve the issue at an early date.


The MSO Alliance had written to the state power ministry that the power companies have been rampantly cutting the wires of the cable industry, which have been there for the past 15 years or so, and when they were approached they asked for exorbitant amounts.


The letter says: “Recently the electricity companies have written to various MSOs as well as LCOs, asking them to remove their cables within 21 days. When the representatives met the officials of these companies, they demanded exorbitant and arbitrary charges as high as Rs 1,600 per cable per year.”


The Alliance had written that this hurts the subscribers and now that the cable industry has grown to the status of an essential service, the government should protect it.

 

To good measure, the Alliance letter points out that the Tdsat, in a recent case (SET Discovery Pvt Ltd Vs Trai), had said that “television viewing has almost attained the status of an essential service in this country.”


Till the time of filing the report, senior representatives of the two companies could not be contacted, and officials who did respond at the offices said they were not authorised to comment.


The MSOs had said that the local authorities should grant right of way on reasonable terms and conditions in public interest and the power companies should not look upon this as a major revenue generation source.


Sharma said: “These companies had been doing this off and on, and in 1997, there was a case in which the court said that the right of way charges should be fixed. Now they have again done this, and the target is clearly the cable industry.”

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