Settle telecom disputes quickly, tribunal told

BANGALORE, AUG. 21. The Supreme Court judge N. Santosh Hegde has said that the Telecom Disputes Settlement and Appellate Tribunal (TDSAT) should evolve an effective procedure for quick settlements of disputes.

He was inaugurating a seminar on "Disputes settlement mechanism in telecom sector in India," organised by the TDSAT under the Telecom Sector Reforms Technical Assistance project of the World Bank, here today.

Tracing the history of the constitution of the TDSAT and its broad-based objectives, Mr. Hedge said that the benefits of the "communication age" must percolate to all strata of society. Consumers should be ensured of better services, and practices that were detrimental to the interests of consumers prevented.

`Share responsibility'

He said the authorities concerned should also "explore alternative means for dispute settlement and redressal of consumer grievances." Considering the gravity of the task, it should be realised that it was a "responsibility that must be shared equally by all the participants in the system," he added

Giving an overview of the telecom scenario in the country, the Executive Director, Centre for Development of Telematcis (C-DOT), Vijay Madan, made a presentation of the issues and technicalities involved.

He said that with 46 million "fixed" phones, 18 million mobile phones, and 4.8 million Internet connections with 15 million users, 8 million personal computers, 78 million television sets, 55 million cable TV connections and 0.4 million broadband connections, entertainment and the cable TV network might become prime broadband drivers in the country.