KARACHI: The deadlock between cable operators and K-Electric (KE) was finally resolved on Wednesday after both parties reached an “understanding” after several days of back and forth.
Speaking at a press conference alongside Karachi Commissioner Iftikhar Shallwani, Pakistan Cable Operators Association Chairman Khalid Arain thanked the commissioner and the Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (PEMRA) chairman for their assistance.
“Today the differences between cable operators and the power utility have been resolved. During today’s meeting, the KE representative assured us that our wires will not be cut,” he said, adding that the two parties will work on an agreement in the coming days.
He added that they were also working on a “common corridor” for which work had begun in Defence and will start soon in the rest of the city. “We will play our part in making the city beautiful, this work will begin soon. I hope the issues between cable operators and KE don’t arise again and our wires are not cut without notice.”
He added that after being assured by KE representative Amir Zia, cable operators were calling off the strike. “Today’s strike from 6pm to 12pm has been called off and we are hopeful that the need for this will not arise again.” He also took the opportunity to apologise to consumers that were caught in the middle of the row. “If you faced any difficulties, then please accept our apology.”
On Tuesday, the residents of five major cities of Sindh, including Karachi, experienced a three-hour suspension of cable television service as operators continued their protest against the power utility.
In a press conference on Monday, the cable operators’ representatives had claimed that KE had cut cable and internet wires without prior warning, as it held cable operators responsible for the deaths caused during last year’s rains due to electrocution.
Meanwhile, KE had denied the allegations of cutting cable/internet wires, saying that it had only removed those “which had posed an immediate threat to safety”. They had accused cable operators of failing to shift their wires underground despite making commitments.
The first day of the strike saw TV and internet services being impacted in Karachi for two hours from 7pm to 9pm. On the second day, the strike was expanded to Karachi, Hyderabad, Nawabshah, Sukkur and Larkana after the first meeting with the commissioner didn’t bear fruit.