Fulfilling one more election promise of the AIADMK, Governor Surjit Singh Barnala on Friday announced that the now-defunct Arasu Cable TV Corporation, an initiative of former chief minister and DMK president M Karunanidhi, would be revived.
The move will directly hit the business of the Sumangali Cable Vision, owned by the Maran brothers.
The Governor said there had been overwhelming demand from the public for the immediate revival of Arasu Cable TV Corporation for providing cable TV services at reasonable rates. “The government will revive the activities of the defunct Corporation in public interest and nationalise the private cable TV operations in the State without affecting the interest of the last mile local cable operators,” he added.
Within a couple of hours of the announcement, many cable TV operators’ association, including Tamil Nadu Cable TV Operators’ Association and Federation of Cable TV Associations (South India), welcomed the move.
During the AIADMK regime between 2001 and 2006, Tamil Nadu Exhibition on Television Screen through Multi-System Operations, Video Cassette Recorders and Cable Television Network (Regulation) Act, 2002, was introduced. The Bill was struck down by the Madras High Court on the ground that the subject was not under the purview of the State since 1995 when the Cable TV Network (Regulation) Act came into force. The President sent it back citing the same reason.
Towards the end of the previous AIADMK regime, the government made a second attempt to take on the group through the introduction of Tamil Nadu Acquisition, Transfer and Taking Over of the Administration of Cable Television Network (Including Multiple Service Optical Transport System) Bill, 2006. This Bill was returned by the Governor saying that such matters came under Centre’s jurisdiction.
After a year, the ties between the Marans and Karunanidhi’s family became bitter and this led to the creation of Arasu corporation