India's pubcaster Doordarshan is setting up a KU Band transmission
project at a cost of Rs 6,380 million to cover the remaining 10
per cent of population, which at present is unable to get DD transmission
due to the lack of reach of the terrestrial system.
To begin with, the project would have 20 channels uplinked from
Delhi. In a year’s time this is likely to be extended to 60 channels.
All the channels would be free to air, according to Prasad, who
was briefing the Parliamentary Consultative Committee attached to
his ministry about the latest developments in the media.
According to Prasad 200,000 homes in rural, remote, inaccessible
mountaineous regions and border areas would be covered by DD by
providing cable head ends and set top boxes. He said, the KU band
transmission will be the most cost effective option for extending
coverage to the uncovered areas.
As compared to Rs 6,380 million on KU band project, the coverage
through the terrestrial method would have required capital investment
of Rs 34,560 million and recurring expenditure of Rs 5,190 million
annually. Doordarshan is hiring 4 satellite transponders for the
purpose, he said.
Prasad informed members that apart from the KU band extension,
DD is extending coverage to 160 uncovered villages in the eight
states of the North-East by establishing cable head ends. The headends
are set up by Doordarshan to downlink the TV signals in the village.
The cabling from headends to the households is also done by DD.
While DD bears the entire cost, the system is handed over to the
local panchayats for its day-to-day running and maintenance with
the technical assistance from DD staff. Prasad said the system has
been operationalized in 44 villages and the work is nearing completion
in another 43 villages. The target is to cover 16,000 households
at a cost of Rs 7,150 million.
Those who attended the parliamentray panel meet included Balram
Singh Yadav, Abdul Rashid Shaheen, Gandhi Azad, Balkavi Bairagi,
Vijay J Darda, Kartar Singh Duggal, Ajay Maroo, Lalhmingliana, Dr
Ramanaidu Daggubati and Shabana Azmi.