Bengal to ignore December 27 deadline for digitisation

With the deadline for cable TV digitisation ending today, a West Bengal minister said that the state government would ignore it as the ground reality in the state for its completion was different.

"After today the the analogue system will still continue. We will not accept the deadline as the ground reality in the state is different," Urban Development minister Firhad Hakim said.

He said that many consumers had installed set-top boxes (STBs) and many were yet to install them because of shortage in supply of equipment and high price. Hakim said that he had earlier requested the Centre to give sufficient time to complete digitisation and make some arrangement so that poor people could purchase STBs.

He assured multi-system operators that the state government would take appropriate steps at the appropriate time against the Centre's 'whimsical attitude'.

"Since sudden black-out can invite law and order problems, the state government will not hesitate to take tough steps against the Centre's stand if the deadline is not deferred till the the state is ready for digitisation", Hakim said.

On December 17, a team of multi-system operators had been called to Delhi by the Ministry of Information and been cautioned to complete digitisation within December 27 or have their licence cancelled.

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