In a significant boost to Prasar Bharati, the Union Cabinet on Wednesday approved a scheme under which the public broadcaster will be provided over Rs 1,054 crore for a three year period till 2020 for strengthening broadcast infrastructure and network development.
The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs, chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, gave its approval to the proposal of the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting regarding Prasar Bharati's 'Broadcasting Infrastructure and Network Development' scheme at a cost of Rs 1,054.52 crore for 3 years from 2017-18 to 2019-20.
Out of Rs 1,054.52 crore, an amount of Rs 435.04 crore has been approved for the continuing schemes of All India Radio, while an amount of Rs 619.48 crore approved for the schemes of Doordarshan, an official statement said.
The continuing schemes of AIR and Doordarshan are at different stages of implementation and are scheduled to be completed in phases.
Provisions have also been made for modernisation of existing equipment and facilities in studios which are essential to sustain the ongoing activities and also for High Definition Television (HDTV) transmitters at Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai and Kolkata.
Setting up of Digital Terrestrial Transmitters (DTTs) at 19 locations and digitization of studios at 39 locations, DSNG (Digital Satellite News Gathering) Vans at 15 locations and upgradation of earth stations at 12 locations, have also been approved under the scheme.
The Cabinet also approved the launch of DD ArunPrabha Channel from Itanagar, Arunachal Pradesh, to fulfil the aspirations of people of North East Region.
In addition to this, 1,50,000 DTH sets have been approved for distribution in different states in the country which will help people in the border, remote, tribal and Left Wing Extremism-affected areas to watch Doordarshan's DTH programmes.
For AIR, the scheme provides for FM expansion at 206 places and digitalisation of studios at 127 places.
FM expansion programme will benefit 13 per cent additional population of the country to listen the AIR programmes, the statement said.
Besides, 10 KW FM transmitters would be set up along the Indo-Nepal border while 10KW FM transmitters would be set up along the Jammu and Kashmir border. These will significantly improve the Radio and TV coverage along the border areas, it said.