Agartala, EW News: Union Minister of Information and Broadcasting, Anurag Singh Thakur, has intervened to resolve the transmission crisis facing cable television channels in Tripura. The disruption, which occurred on Monday due to non-registration under the Ministry of Corporate Affairs under the Indian Companies Act 2013, prompted urgent action from state and central authorities.
Tripura Chief Minister Dr. Manik Saha spearheaded efforts to address the issue, recognizing the crucial role cable television plays in the state’s media landscape. With Tripura lacking satellite television channels, the disruption posed a serious challenge to information dissemination in the region, affecting more than 30 small microchannels operating via multi-system operators (MSOs).
Following consultations between Dr. Saha and Union Minister Thakur, assurances were made to prevent further disruption to local channel transmissions, considering the state’s limited broadcast infrastructure.
The Ministry of Information and Broadcasting’s directive in November 2022 mandated the registration of all platform service channels within a year, a requirement not fulfilled by MSOs nationwide. Last week, an order was issued instructing MSOs to cease transmission of all non-registered channels, triggering widespread concern.
The Assembly of Tripura (AoJ), the apex media body in the state, urgently sought Chief Minister Dr. Saha’s intervention. Dr. Saha subsequently engaged with Union Minister Thakur, highlighting the unique challenges faced by states like Tripura.
In a meeting held on Monday night in New Delhi, a media delegation presented their case to Minister Thakur, urging an extension of the registration deadline by at least six months. They emphasized the importance of allowing cable channels to continue transmission until registration is completed.
Minister Thakur assured the delegation of the government’s commitment to addressing the concerns of the media community promptly. He stressed the need to bring local channels into a legal framework to combat fake news and uphold journalistic ethics.
Furthermore, the delegation appealed for support in launching satellite TV channels in Tripura, citing infrastructure and financial constraints. They emphasized the vital role cable channels play as stakeholders in governance despite financial limitations.
The intervention of Union Minister Thakur signifies a crucial step towards ensuring uninterrupted access to information in Tripura while addressing the regulatory challenges faced by the media industry in the state.