Are wires of Eastern Media Digital webbing around electric poles legally?

Bhubaneswar: Allegations of illegal wiring of cables by Eastern Media Digital Cable Company around Central Electricity Supply Utility (CESU) electricity poles and using electricity without permission in twin city have drawn flak from various quarters.

As per OTV investigation, the cable service provider has neither signed any agreement with CESU nor taken permission to use their electric poles. Still, Eastern Digital has been allegedly wiring cables in large scale in twin cities of Bhubaneswar and Cuttack and running operations since 2016.

However officials of the cable company and its owner BJD MP Soumya Ranjan Patnaik have brushed aside the allegations.

“There is no agreement but we take permission from the concerned department. Once the permission is granted we continue to provide the service,” said Dilip Bhuyan, Operation head of the cable service provider.

“I have the required permission to use the pole. But if there is any illegality as alleged, action should be taken as per law, ” said Soumya Patnaik.

On the other hand, CESU technical head Sukant Kumar Swain said that he is unaware of the alleged illegalities by the cable service provider. “I don’t have any information on this,” said Swain.

Meanwhile, the Odisha Consumers’ association has demanded an inquiry into the matter and urged to impose fine on violators.

“If any illegality has taken place, it’s a serious matter. CESU is not a charitable organisation that anyone can avail services for free. An inquiry should be launched into the allegations,” said Ramesh Chandra Satpathy, President of the Odisha Consumers’ Association.

Surprisingly, authorities of the Ortel Communication Limited, a reputed cable service provider, said despite running operations after signing an agreement with discoms and giving the required fee, they are being meted raw deal due to political ramifications.

“Without signing any agreement, some cable operators are wiring cables on electric poles and using hooks to run their amplifier. Despite being aware of the issue, the State government is not taking any action against them whereas we are being harassed,” Bijaya Kumar Swain, DGM, Ortel Communication Limited said.

In April, the local administration sealed the Ortel office in Berhampur. However, the administration was forced to unseal the office after court’s intervention.