DD spends 29% of annual expenditure on terrestrial distribution

NEW DELHI: Around 29 per cent of the total expenditure of Doordarshan is spent on terrestrial distribution annually, the Parliament was told today.

However, Prasar Bharati says that the viewership data received at present still does not show the terrestrial viewership for rural viewers separately, Minister of State for Information and Broadcasting Rajyavardhan Rathore said.

In January 2003, Doordarshan had set up four digital transmitters, one each at Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata and Chennai on an experimental basis using Digital Video Broadcasting Transmission (DVB-T) System to gain experience in digital transmission technology.

As part of the 11th Plan Scheme, four High Definition TV (HDTV) digital High Power Transmitters (HPTs) have been installed at Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata and Chennai and are ready for commissioning.

A total of 63 digital HPTs (40 in 11th Plan and 23 in 12th Plan) have also been approved as part of digitisation schemes. Out of 63 digital HPTs, 16 digital HPTs are ready for commissioning and another three digital HPTs are at advanced stage of completion. Action has been initiated for setting up of remaining 44 digital HPTs.

Replying to a separate question, I&B Minister Arun Jaitley said against funds amounting to Rs 155 crore allocated in 2014-15 by the Prasar Bharati from the funds given by the Government for modernization schemes, Prasar Bharati had reported an expenditure of Rs 153.37 crore.

He added that against funds amounting to Rs 237 crore allocated in 2015-16 to the pubcaster, an expenditure of Rs 41.46 crore had been incurred till October 2015.

The Expert Committee for Prasar Bharati had recommended digitisation of Terrestrial TV operations based on commercial viability.

However, Rathore said there is no time-line at present for Analogue Terrestrial TV switch off.

The switch-off is currently happening only in the digital addressable systems (DAS), with the third phase being completed by this month end and the final phase slated for December 2016.

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