Mamata says unwilling farmers in Singur will get back their land

The Trinamool Congress chief said her government is with farmers and farmers unwilling to give their land in Singur, would get it back


Kolkata: In wake of the Calcutta High Court holding as unconstitutional the Singur Land Development Act, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Friday said her government was with the farmers and committed to return of land to them, reports PTI.

"Unwilling farmers in Singur will get back their land. The state government is committed to it," Banerjee told reporters in the assembly premises after the high court held the Singur Land Rehabilitation and Development Act, 2011 as unconstitutional and void.

The state government had vested the land leased to the Tata Motors for its Nano small car project at Singur.

"We are with them and we will continue to be with them. They will emerge victorious at the end," Banerjee said.

Banerjee, however, refused to make any comment on the high court verdict.

Leader of the Opposition Surya Kanta Mishra, belonging to the CPI(M) said the high court verdict had vindicated the party's stand.

"We have been saying that the bill was unconstitutional and we had offered to give several suggestions to the government on how to go about it," he told reporters.


Govt puts off cable TV digitalisation deadline by four months

Installing set top boxes in each cable viewing household is a precondition for digitalisation and even a fortnight before the 30th June, it was estimated that only 30% of households had acquired STBs


New Delhi: The government has deferred the digitalisation of cable TV services in four

metros by four months to 1st November, from the earlier scheduled introduction date of 1st July, reports PTI.

The decision to defer the plan for switchover from analogue to digitalised signals, which promises better TV viewing, was announced by the government on Wednesday with a warning of strict penal action if the new deadline is not met.

“The ministry of information and broadcasting has decided to modify the 30th June deadline for a complete switch over to 31st October 2012,” the I&B ministry said in a statement after the four metros of Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai and Kolkata were found to be grossly unprepared.

“All the TRAI regulations for Digital Addressable System will come into effect from 1st November, 2012,” the statement added.

It said that the assessment of ground realities compelled the I&B ministry to set a new deadline which would now be monitored more vigorously.

Digitalisation of the cable services in the entire country by December 2014 is one of the ambitious tasks that the I&B ministry has set for itself and the first step towards achieving this goal was its implementation in Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata and Chennai by 30th June.

Installing set top boxes (STBs) in each cable viewing household is a precondition for digitalisation and as per official sources even a fortnight before the 30th June, it was estimated that only 30% of households had acquired STBs.

“The seeding of STBs in cable viewing households was not satisfactory so a new deadline has been set. The state governments involved had sought an extension of six months till 31st December. However we have agreed to a postponement of deadline till 31st October and this time we plan to monitor it very strictly,” a senior official told PTI.

The ministry said that Multi System Operators (MSOs), Local Cable operators (LCOs) or other stakeholders could face action if they don’t match the new schedule.

“The Ministry of information & broadcasting will issue warning letters to those going slow on their written commitments. Needless to add that both, the I&B ministry and TRAI, will take action under the provisions of the Cable Act, wherever and whenever necessary,” the statement said.

The ministry said that it is “imperative that the modified target deadline is set with strict benchmarks to ensure that no complacency sets-in in the system and the new target date is achieved collectively by all the stakeholders.”

Officials said that the I&B ministry had the power to suspend or revoke the registration of Local cable operators (LCOs) or Multi System Operators (MSOs) if they violated one or more terms and conditions of registration which were mandatory under digitalisation.

“While the ministry has agreed to postpone the date for four metros, it also has the option of taking penal action against stakeholders who do not take the required steps to digitalise the cable services in the coming days,” a senior official said.


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