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July 14, 2020

Cable operators hold token strike against K-Electric

National

July 14, 2020

KARACHI: The All Pakistan Cable Operators and Internet Association held a token strike on Monday from 7pm to 9m.

The association held a press conference at the Karachi Press Club in this regard. They demanded time to lay their cables underground. The association said that they are providing TV channels and internet service at homes. Mostly for this purpose, the electricity poles of K-Electric (KE) are used. For this purpose, they pointed out that they have an understanding with the power utility.

With the assistance of the KE, the association said, they’re are providing services to their consumers. Several electrocution cases emerged last year after rainfall in the city. However, the KE held all the responsibility of the electrocutions on cable operators and internet service providers.

For the TV cable and internet cable service, the association said that they use fiber optics which is devoid of electricity and isn’t hazardous for life. Because of the power utility, which is on a spree of disconnecting the cables of association, they said that they’re facing millions of rupees loss. The association claimed to have informed the governor Sindh regarding their grievances.

President of the association Khalid Arain said that the job of Pakistan Media Regulatory Authority (Pemra) is to mint money or shutdown or open any channel. They demanded the PEMRA to support their licensed cable operators.

In response to a media statement issued by the Pakistan Telecommunications Access Providers Association (local cable operators), the K-Electric (KE) has strongly urged that the cable operators honour commitments made to the commissioner Karachi and local authorities to remove unsafe cable wires from their infrastructure.

It was revealed that cable associations had made commitments to local authorities and commissioner Karachi to begin removing their wires from the KE poles and placing them underground by July 15th. It appears that they are unable to meet this commitment and have chosen to strike and inconvenience the citizens of Karachi. The KE spokesperson said: “Cable operators association needs to place their cables underground as committed. They must not put money before safety. KE has extended every assistance to help them do this.”

“These cables have led to fatalities and are a major safety hazard. These illegal cables and wires cause short-circuiting which also lead to fire and are a major source of injuries and deaths, particularly during rains.”

The K-Electric spokesperson has highlighted that the company will not bow down to the blackmail and pressure tactics of cable operators, who in various meetings and conversations with the local authorities including commissioner Karachi assured in writing that they will shift their illegal and unsafe wires to a safer underground system. The first phase of this project was identified in 50 different locations and was supposed to be completed by July 20, 2020. Despite repetitive appeals made to them by KE, the work has not commenced properly.

The KE spokesperson has further added that various rounds of discussions were organised with cable TV and internet operators (PTAPA). In the broader interest of public, KE had also offered technical support to cable operators to ensure this project is completed before the start of monsoon season so that no hazardous event takes place.

The KE is determined to continue its action against illegal connections and illegal cable TV internet wires in the interest of the safety of the people of Karachi and asks citizens to support them in removing this menace of unsafe and unsightly mess.