Cable operators violating TRAI order in Meghalaya

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Shillong, Jan 13 (UNI) Even after the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India's (TRAI) notification, the cable operators here have not slashed rates but moved the Telecom Disputes Settlement and Appellate Tribunal (TDSAT).

The Shillong Cable Operators Association (SCOA) appealed to the tribunal on December eight last year, asking TRAI to review its rates.

''SCOA has appealed to TDSAT for review of the tariff rates. It is difficult to run business at that tariff,'' James Lyngwa, one of association member said. TRAI issued the notification on October four last with nationwide applicability from December one.

The regulatory body notified that for a minimum of 30 Free To Air (FTA) channels and more than 45 pay channels the maximum tariff is Rs 260 in Class 'A-1'&'A' cities, Rs 220 in Class 'B-1' and 'B-2' cities, and Rs 200 in other areas.

Shillong falls under the category ''other areas'' and Guwahati in ''B-2'' cities. The tariff slab for ''other areas'' or for cities like Shillong is Rs 130 for 20 Pay Channel and 30 FTAs.

Rs 160 for 20-30 Pay channels and 30 FTAs. Rs 185 for 30-45 Pay Channels and 30 FTAs.

''The monthly charge is Rs 350 here and 90 FTAs and pay channels are being shown,'' Lyngwa informed.

Moreover, TRAI's notification directed cable operators to give subscribers their bill with all relevant details including the ''total number of pay and free to air channels.'' The cable operator must acknowledge all payments made by the subscriber by issuing a receipt duly signed, indicating the period and the purpose for which the payment was received.

Interestingly, Deputy Commissioner of East Khasi Hills B Dhar said he was helpless to intervene into the matter.

'' People should either approach the Consumer Court or complain to TRAI directly,'' the DC advised.

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