Cable TV

Kanpur LCOs forced to pay user charges for cable despite any provision by TRAI

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NEW DELHI: Although there is no reference to any charge being levied on right of way given to cable television operators to use electricity poles after launching of digital access system, the Kanpur municipal corporation has forced LCOs to deposit up to Rs 10,000 even as a final settlement has yet to come.

Sources in the Information and Broadcasting Ministry as well as the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India denied to indiantelevision.com any mention of charges and said the law only spoke of facilitating the work of LCOs.

Furthermore, LCOs and MSOs in Kanpur confirmed to indiantelevision.com that no such charge is being levied in the other cities in Uttar Pradesh - Allahabad, Lucknow, Agra, Ghaziabad, Meerut and Varanasi - covered in Phase II of DAS.

The Kanpur municipal corporation had recently imposed user charges of Rs 0.50 per meter on cable operators who operate via Kesco, Nagar Nigam and telephone poles.

The LCOs had gone on strike last week when Nagar Nigam officials set a deadline for depositing user charges and also cut the cable lines of some operators at various places.

During the meeting with state chief minister Akhilesh Yadav, the operators urged him to make an inquiry as they were being heavily taxed, which included central tax, state tax or entertainment tax and now the new user charges. Yadav had then asked the divisional commissioner of Kanpur to make an inquiry and settle the issue.

However, municipal commissioner N K Singh Chauhan told LCOs that the government had issued the order for charging the operators with user charges.

Cable Operators Federation of India president Roop Sharma and All India Dish Antennae Aavishkaar Sangh president A K Rastogi strongly condemned the action. Rastogi said his organisation would help the LCOs in whatever manner possible.

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