Maharashtra, WB bureaucrats ask for more time on CAS

NEW DELHI: CAS is slowly degenerating into being a complete failure.

A high-powered meeting of senior bureaucrats from four states where CAS (conditional access system) is being sought to be implemented ended with the expected thing happening. All the states requested to be given further time to mull over the rollout of addressability.

The state officials also indicated that the Centre must give them a new date for the implementation of CAS and that too "variable" ones. This means that different states are asking for different dates for rollout which in turn rules out a simultaneous implementation.

Though there is nothing official about it - but except Chennai - neither Mumbai nor Kolkata have bowed to the Centre's diktat on CAS rollout citing their own reasons.

A senior official of the information and broadcasting ministry, which chaired the meeting on CAS, admitted, "You can say that CAS is moribund."

Though Delhi has already been taken out of the rollout map, a bureaucrat from the union territory of Delhi was also present at today's meeting. Last month, the central government had denotified Delhi from the CAS rollout map citing political reasons.

A senior bureaucrat from the West Bengal government is understood to have conveyed that CAS cannot be implemented in Kolkata because of the upcoming Durga Puja festivities, which would have the security forces busy, while Mumbai's contention is that it is "studying" the security situation in the metropolis in the aftermath of the recent bomb blasts.

The states have also said that CAS' rollout should be state's responsibility and local committees should be set up to look into this issue.

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