I&B ministry clears Rs 29.7 billion expansion plan for Doordarshan, AIR

MUMBAI: As part of the tenth five year plan outlay, the Information & Broadcasting ministry has approved Rs 25.63 billion towards Doordarshan's development.Additionally, Rs 4.11 billion has been set aside for the expansion of All India Radio's (AIR) services.

The total outlay earmarked for DD and AIR in the Tenth Plan is Rs 29.74 billion.

As part of the expansion plans for AIR, a special package will be provided for Jammu and Kashmir (J&K) and the north-eastern states, including Andaman & Nicobar Islands (A&N).

This was announced by Information & Broadcasting and parliamentary affairs P R Dasmunsi yesterday in the Lok Sabha.

According to an official statement, 12 new/upgradation projects have been identified for the J&K. Kathua and Rajouri will have FM radio stations as part of the schemes.

Under Phase I, North East special plan, 10 kW FM transmitters will come up at Itanagar, Kohima and Port Blair. 

Under Phase II of North-Eastern special plan, the undernoted transmission/relay facilities will be provided with

#10 kW FM transmitter, playback studio, staff quarters at Gangtok – (additional channel).

#5 kW FM transmitter, playback studio, at Silchar – (additional channel).

#1 kW FM transmitters, voice over recording/dubbing, field production facilities, staff quarters at 19 places i.e. Daporijo, Anini, Bomdila, Changlang, Khonsa (Arunachal Pradesh), Karimganj, Lumding, Goalpara (Assam), Ukhrul, Tamenglong (Manipur), Dawki (Meghalaya), Tuipang, Chemphai, Kolasib (Mizoram), Wokha, Zunehboto, Phek (Nagaland) and Udaipur, Nutan Bazar (Tripura).

#100 W FM transmitter at different locations in North Eastern region (100 places) to cover uncovered area.

Dasmunsi also spoke on the expenditure incurred by AIR and Doordarshan up to June 2006, which has been Rs 592.6 million and Rs 9 billion, respectively, informs the official statement. 

Interestingly, under the second phase of private FM radio stations, the policy prohibits allocation of more than 15 per cent of total allocated channels in the country to a single company – including its holding, subsidiary, inter-connected companies and companies with the same management. 

Moreover, networking of channels by any two entities has also been specifically prohibited.

Thus, following this restriction, the Reliance-owned Adlabs and Sun-promoted South Asia FM and Kal Radio had to surrender some circles to adhere to the government mandated national cap of 15 per cent. Both the companies had given up on the stations in the north-east zone to abide by the policy. For example:Adlabs Films had surrendered the frequencies, which included Gangtok, Imphal, Kohima, Port Blair, Shillong, to name a few. While, South Asia FM had given up Imphal, Kohima, Port Blair, Rourkela, Muzzaffarpur, amongst others.

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