Arasu Cable TV Corporation launch fails to excite

Operations of the state-run Arasu Cable TV Corporation are to be launched in Tirunelveli zone covering most of the south on Monday but neither the government machinery nor the ruling party men, not even the operators, seem excited.

There have been no advertisement campaigns. The district administration has failed to print formal invitations. The media was not given information about the launch till 5 pm Sunday. Even the officer in-charge of the corporation for Tirunelveli zone, Balasubramanian was not present in his office here to oversee preparation for the inauguration.

The Tirunelveli launch was postponed twice before the government settled on September 15. The operations here along with Chennai and Vellore would be inaugurated by chief minister M Karunanidhi through video conferencing simultaneously.

Tirunelveli has been chosen as the headquarters for the south network that includes Madurai, Kanyakumari, Thoothukudi, Virudhunagar, Sivagangai, Ramanathapuram, Theni and Dindigul. Even the cable operators close to the ruling party are reluctant to take the Arasu feed because it does not contain popular packages from Sun TV and Star TV.

A close relative of a top DMK functionary in Tirunelveli has decided against joining the Arasu network fearing it would hurt business.

Arasu was launched as a rival to Sumangali Cable Vision (SCV) owned by the Maran brothers, Kalanidhi and Dayanidhi, grandnephews of Karunanidhi, in the wake of a feud between them and the chief minister’s elder son M. K. Azhagiri. Many party men here are not showing inter est in Arasu as they are supporters of local administration minister M K Stalin, who is said to have a soft corner for the Marans.

There are technical glitches as well. Since only less than 40 per cent of the work has been completed, Arasu signals are not available in Theni, Ramanathapuram, Sivagangai and Dindigul. In Thoothukudi, operators get the signal only at Kovilpatti.

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