Govt says 101% digitisation, but many await set-top boxes
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Televisions of many residents in several parts of the city went on a blink on Thursday as analogue signals were officially switched off at midnight.
These households haven't been able to get their set-top boxes before the October 31 deadline, even as the government claimed 100 per cent digitisation of the cable television network in the Capital.
The I&B Ministry statement says: "According to data provided by multi-system operators, the percentage of digitisation in Delhi has gone up to 101 per cent."
But several residents' welfare associations in East and West Delhi said many people were "still calling their cable operators for set-top boxes".
"I believe demand has outpaced supply. I was shocked this morning when I switched on the TV. It was blank. Until Wednesday, I was haggling with the cable operator over the price of the set-top box. He wants Rs 1,000, instead of Rs 800 which is the standard MRP, I guess. Now I have no choice but to buy it at a premium," a Mayur Vihar resident said.
People belonging to the economically weaker section were unaware of the deadline, sources said, despite the I&B Ministry's claims that an aggressive public awareness campaign was launched.
"Six video spots and 12 radio jingles were brought out by the ministry. An intensive SMS campaign was also launched. Hoardings on bus shelters were also put up," an official statement says.
For some, the cost of buying a set-top box and paying more for regular cable TV proved to too much of a burden. "My domestic help, Asha, was cribbing about the blackout. She couldn't watch her favourite soap. She asked if she could watch it at our place," a homemaker in Kailash Colony said.
Cable operators said they were working round the clock to install set-top boxes. "We are receiving hundreds of calls. We have ordered extra set-top boxes to cater to last-minute requests. Moreover, we have to attend to complaints such as unclear sound and poor signal. Many new users are having teething problems," an operator in Paharganj said.
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