Television

B'lore TV screens go blank as cable ops lock horns with power company

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BANGALORE: Television screens across Bangalore went blank yesterday (15 July) after cable operators called for an indefinite strike protesting the Bangalore Electric Supply Company's (Bescom) "indiscriminate" cutting of cable wires. 



Bescom had gone on a "cable-cutting spree" following the tragic death on Monday of a seven-year-old city boy Anish, who accidentally came into contact with a loosely hung live wire.

 

Bescom is responsible for power distribution in the six districts of Karnataka. The company justified its actions saying it didn't want such a tragedy repeated.



As per media repots, 7 year old Anish, who was to leave for the US on Friday (16 July), was electrocuted just yards from his house when he came in contact with a live wire. Hed gone to buy a packet of biscuits from a shop across the road.



The cable wire was energized on the 8th Cross, off 10th Main, in Indiranagar II Stage. As per initial reports, Bescom said that technical investigations were hampered as evidences at the accident spot were tampered with. They claim that by the time they reached the spot, the police had dismantled and removed the television cable along with other loose wires. The police deny this saying that the wires were removed by Bescom personnel.



As the fault lies with the present system of pole hiring for cables not stressing on the identification of wires, no one is willing to take responsibility for the death. Bescom may have no evidence to support its charges against cable operators because of this. 



Experts say that Bescom did not carry out any inspection after granting a license to instal/lay cables. And there hasn't been any check also from the company's part to see if cable wires are restricted to the areas for which the license has been granted, they allege.



"Without even proving that the wire through which the accident occurred was a cable TV one, they just went on cutting our property. The cable could have been an Internet or even telecom cable," said Karnataka State Cable TV Operators Association spokesperson Sudhish Kumar.



Approximately 1,200 cable operators have threatened to black out all channels unless a list of demands is met, the main one being that Bescom compensate operators for the cables they have cut. Other demands include a stay on the ongoing cable-cutting and the regularisation of the cables, which are already laid/installed.



Reports quote General Manager (Technical), Bescom general manager (technical) AN Ramanujam as saying, "We don't know what is legal and what is not. Cable operators must come and inform us which cable is authorized. What compensation are they talking about? They have used our poles illegally. If we yield to their demands, Bangalore will have many more Anishs dying."



Anish's family refused to accept the compensation of Rs 100,000 offered by Bescom saying, "Whatever happened to our son should not be repeated with any other children."

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