Chennai: Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa on Saturday sought Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s intervention to secure Digital Addressable System (DAS) licence for the state run TV Cable Corporation that was pending with the Centre for about three years.
In a letter to Modi, the contents of which were released to the press here, Jayalalithaa pointed out that the previous UPA regime sanctioned licenses to nine Multi System Operators in Tamil Nadu, but did not respond to the state’s plea.
She reiterated that her government revived the ‘defunct’ Tamil Nadu Arasu Cable TV Corporation (TACTV), a state run TV Cable Corporation after coming to power in 2011 to adhere to its commitment to provide inexpensive and quality Cable TV services. “Even as TACTV’s applications for licenses were kept pending by the previous UPA Government, the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting issued licenses to nine other Multi System Operators in Tamil Nadu, including those who applied after TACTV,” she charged in her letter.
TACTV, an initiative of the previous DMK government at the height of family feud in the party’s first family involving M Karunanidhi and his grandnephews, Maran brothers, was however later put in cold storage after they patched up.
TACTV was providing 100 channels for Rs 70 as against the Rs 150-250 charged by some other Multi-System Operators, she said.
After the Cable Television Networks (Regulation) Act, 1995 was amended, paving way for DAS, TACTV took steps to commence operations in the digital mode in Chennai and applied to the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting for DAS license.
Orders were also placed for the supply of Set Top Boxes, Conditional Access System and Subscriber Management System and erection of Head End at a cost of about Rs 50 crores, she told Modi.
As per the provisions of the Cable TV Network (Regulations) Act, 1995, and Rules thereof, TACTV is qualified for such a licence, he asserted and alleged that it strongly suspected that the non-issuance of license to by the previous UPA Government was only to facilitate particular private business interests.
Jayalithaa said in her letter that she had already brought this issue to the Prime Minister’s notice in her memorandum she submitted to him last month on various matters concerning Tamil Nadu including for setting up of Cauvery Management Board.