The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs on Friday approved a Rs 3,500-crore plan to upgrade infrastructure facilities of public broadcaster Prasar Bharati.
Under the approved budget, eight new Television Terrestrial Transmitters will be set up along the Indo-Nepal border. These transmitters will cover 65 per cent of the population of Nepal and help beam Doordarshan into the Nepali territory.
This is being done so that Nepal will be able to view Indian programmes and counter propaganda from other neighbouring countries like China and Pakistan. A part of the approved budget will also be spent on increasing the capacity of Doordarshan’s free Direct to Home (DTH) services. It will be expanded from current 59 channels to include 97 channels. During the 12th Plan, further expansion of the capacity to 250 channels was proposed. “This will ensure sustainability of DTH and increase revenue of Prasar Bharati. During the 11th Plan, 40 Digital Terrestrial Transmitters (DTT) were sanctioned and these are under implementation. In the 12th Plan, 23 additional DTTs have been proposed to be installed,” the Cabinet statement said.
According to the official statement, provisions have also been kept for modernisation of existing equipment and facilities in studios and satellite uplinks which are essential to sustain ongoing activities and also for High Definition Television (HDTV) studio facilities at Chennai and Kolkata.
For AIR, FM expansion at 118 places besides eight FM broadcasting set-ups along Nepal border and digitalisation of 29 studios and archival facility at Guwahati have been planned.