Assam cable operators, under the aegis of the Greater Guwahati Cable TV Operators Association (GGCTOA), have moved a petition in the Guwahati High Court against the Assam Power Distribution Company Limited’s (APDCL) demand of Rs. 25 per electricity pole per operator.
Cable TV operators use poles for running their networks and there were no charges or rentals for this. APDCL first fixed Rs. 25 per pole as monthly electricity charges for pole utilisation. However, GGCTOA opposed the move and submitted requests and memorandums to various ministers and APDCL to negotiate.
“We filed a petition in the Guwahati High Court on 23 January and the matter is listed for Monday, 27 January” GGCTOA general secretary Mohammed Iquebal Ahmed told TelevisionPost.com. “We got two extensions on the matter earlier. The last deadline was 22 January and we did not reach an agreement. We have suggested three different proposals.”
APDCL has suggested each operator should pay a monthly fee of Rs. 25 per pole and have exclusive rights to advertise on the poles. “We appreciate their proposal but Rs. 25 is too high. Earlier, we asked to reduce it to Rs. 10, but we are open to negotiate on Rs. 15,” he added.
It has also suggested a slab structure and another agreement on a monthly charge of Rs. 1 per pole. Last year, APDCL had asked the operators to start paying for using electricity poles.
The operators got an extension, and this was followed by a series of meetings and negotiation talks.