The Madras High Court has further extended the digitisation deadline for Chennai till Monday, November 19, 2012. This is the third time DAS deadline has been postponed in Chennai.
The petition was filed by Chennai Metro Cable Operators Association (CMCOA) in the High Court requesting extension of digitisation deadline for three months. In the previous decision on October 31, the Madras High Court had pushed the deadline for implementation of digitisation till November 9.
Justice N Paul Vasanthakumar, before whom the batch of writ petitions filed by CMCOA and MSOs was presented for hearing, said that the matter concerned public interest and hence, it should be heard by a division bench.
When the matter was taken to hearing, PS Raman, senior counsel for Sun Group, said that the media company has more than 2 lakh set top boxes (STBs) in their stock and require only 20 days for distribution if the MSOs place their orders.
He further said that no cable operator had approached the Sun Group for STBs in the last four months.
On the other hand, Central Government standing counsel S Haja Mohideen Gisthi said that the Centre is prepared to extend the last date till December 31 if an undertaking is given by the State Government authorities that they will implement DAS in Chennai within a time frame.
Talking to exchange4media, MR Srinivasan, General Secretary, CMCOA, said, “We are demanding for four months’ extension and also want undertaking from the MSOs that within this period they will provide adequate number of STBs.”
While government figures state that 60 per cent of STB installation has been done in Chennai, cable operators dispute this figure and claim that only around 35-40 per cent of the installation has been completed.
Meanwhile, till the next hearing on November 19, the analogue signal status quo will continue.
Chennai DAS deadline deferred again
Four-day relief for Chennai as DAS finally rolls out
Doubts cast over Chennai's digitisation drive