Bangalore cable ops meet CM; state-wide blackout averted

BANGALORE: The impasse between the cable operators and the Karnataka state government run power utility Bangalore Electric Supply Company (Bescom) seems to have broken, at least for the present. It finally took a brief meeting late Saturday evening with chief minister N Dharam Singh to break the ice.

The CM has agreed to hear out the cable operators' grievances in a more extensive meeting tomorrow. As things stand, the dispute, which yesterday threatened to blow up and engulf the entire state with a blanking out of all cable TV screens has had a cooling off, at least for now.

Irate cable operators had threatened to go on a state wide strike if Bescom did not stop indiscriminate cable cutting, the orders for which were issued following the death last Monday of 7-year-old city boy Anish when he came in contact with a loosely hanging live wire. Cable operators in a rare show of unity had gone on strike following the action by Bescom and had blanked TV screens across Bangalore since Thursday.

A failed meeting on Friday with power minister HD Revanna did nothing to soothe the angry cable operators, who resorted to slogan shouting when Revanna abruptly terminiated the meeting.

A spokesman from the Zee Network, meanwhile has informed that the Civil Court at Bangalore has passed an ex-parte injunction preventing Bescom from cutting/dismantling/removing cables of Zee Interactive Multi-Media Ltd. The next hearing is scheduled for 2 August.

During a telecom, Jagdish of The Karnataka Cable TV Chambers of Commerce said most MSO's had obtained stay orders against Bescom restraining it from cutting cables. According to Jagdish, all MSO's had restarted transmission, but normalcy may be possible only after all the 'cut' cables are restored.

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