The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs chaired by the Prime Minister Narendra Modi recently 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 `1054.52 crore for 3 years from 2017-18 to 2019-20. Out of `1054.52 crore, an amount of `435.04 crore is approved for the continuing schemes of All India Radio (AIR) and an amount of `619.48 crore is approved for the schemes of Doordarshan. The continuing schemes of AIR and Doordarshan are at different stages of implementation and are scheduled to be completed in phases.
Provisions have been kept for modernization of existing equipment/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. The cabinet also approved the launch of DD ArunPrabha channel from Itanagar, Arunachal Pradesh to fulfill the aspirations of people of Northeast region. In addition to this, 150,000 DTH sets have been approved for distribution in different states in the country which will help people in the border, remote, tribal, and LWE areas to watch Doordarshan’s DTH programs.
For All India Radio, the scheme provides for FM expansion at 206 places, digitalization of studios at 127 places are envisaged. FM expansion program will benefit 13 percent additional population of the country to listen to the AIR programs. Besides 10 KW FM transmitters would be set up along Indo-Nepal border while 10KW FM transmitters would be set up in J&K Border. These will significantly improve the radio and TV coverage along the border areas.