New Delhi: About one-fourth of 1.6 crore households missed the deadline of television digitisation on Monday in 38 cities. But they may get a short transition period for switchover to Set Top Boxes depending on local conditions. However, the government insisted that the deadline for digitisation will not be extended and the transition period will vary from city to city. "In order to not create inconvenience for the people, we are giving a transition time of 10 to 15 days depending on the ground level situation," I&B secretary Uday Kumar Varma said.
With the deadline for the second phase of digitisation having passed on Monday, nearly 25 per cent TV viewing homes still have not installed Set Top Boxes (STBs) in 38 cities that were to be covered. About 1.6 crore households were to be covered in this phase, which followed digitisation in four metro cities from November one, last year.
Officials said that Multi System Operators (MSOs) and broadcasters may switch off the signals in a phased manner depending on the situation in various cities. Officials said that there is a huge diversity in the ground level situation in various cities which the ministry would keep in mind while enforcing black outs.
As per the data with the ministry, seven of the 38 cities involved Ludhiana, Hyderabad, Faridabad, Allahabad, Amritsar, Chandigarh and Jodhpur have reported 100 per cent digitisation while three others Thane, Meerut and Jaipur have reported figures of over 90 per cent.
On the other side till Monday, Vishakhapatnam which has over 5 lakh TV sets reported the minimum figures of 12.18 per cent digital TV sets. Other cities like Srinagar (20 per cent), Coimbatore (28.89 per cent), Jabalpur (34.87 per cent), Kalyan Dombivli (38.59 per cent) were also lagging. I&B officials said that they were coordinating with nodal officers in states to decide on the timing and manner of switch off of analogue signals which will result in blank TV screens for non-digitised TV sets.