New Delhi: Delhi Chief Minister Shiela Dikshit said Delhi will have to meet the October 31 deadline for digitisation of the cable television network and that it was "a step forward towards modernisation".

"We will adopt the policy of digitisation of television. There may be some problems in the beginning but I think it is a step forward towards modernisation," Dikshit said. "We have to meet the deadline of October 31 anyhow, and Delhi will not hesitate a bit to adopt this policy of the I&B (Information and Broadcasting) ministry," she added.

The government is pushing for complete digitisation of the cable television network and, as a first step, around 10 million households in the four metros of Delhi, Kolkata, Mumbai and Chennai will go digital by October 31.

Dikshit also said that her government would also bring awareness on digitisation of TV through a campaign in the media.

Delhi lags behind other metros as far as installation of set-top boxes is concerned.
Dikshit instructed the excise and revenue departments to work in tandem to ensure maximum digitisation.

I&B Minister Ambika Soni, who met Dikshit in New Delhi on Friday, said, "October 31 is the last date and there will be no extension. In Delhi, 70 percent of the people have installed set-top boxes."

"I request the Delhi government to apprise us the hurdles in the way (of digitising cable television network) and we will help the government," Soni told reporters.

In the rest of the country, the process is to be completed by December 2014.

Around 70 percent of the cable TV network in the four metros has been digitised so far, with the maximum in Mumbai where over 95 percent has been completed.

TV owners will have to buy set-top boxes - costing between Rs.800 to Rs.1,000 - to receive the signals.


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