Mamata threatens stir against compulsory cable TV digitisation

After FDI in retail and cap on subsidised LPG cylinders, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee is again set to lock horns with the Centre over the plan to blackout television transmission after October 31 in the four metros if they fail to switchover to digitisation of cable TV.

"When set top boxes are not at hand, analogue system should be allowed to continue and the Centre has no right to blackout television. They are forcing people to buy set top box.

We can’t tamely accept this stand of the Centre,” Banerjee told reporters at the Writers’ Building here on Tuesday. “If necessary, we will launch a statewide movement and extend it to the entire country,” she said.

Expressing regret that the Centre had not responded to her request in June to extend the October 31 deadline, she said, “The Centre is trying to adopt a path of confrontation with the states on the issue.

”The Centre has already extended the deadline once from July 31 to October 31 following protests by Tamil Nadu and West Bengal.

According to official figures, out of the 33 lakh TV viewers in Kolkata, only 15 lakh viewers have a set top box. If the Centre sticks to its blackout decision, nearly 18 lakh viewers will be affected.

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