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Doordarshan mulls expansion in Chhattisgarh's red zone

Plans to set up medium wave transmitter in DD Kendra of Jagdalpur, the divisional HQ of Bastar

R Krishna Das  |  Raipur 

Information and Broadcasting Minister Venkaiah Naidu. Photo: PTI
Information and Broadcasting Minister Venkaiah Naidu. Photo: PTI

The country’s official broadcaster (DD) plans to widen its telecast coverage in the Naxal-infested pocket of Chhattisgarh.

Minister for Information and Broadcasting today announced plans to set up a high-power medium wave transmitter in the DD Kendra of Jagdalpur, the divisional headquarters of The transmitter would be set up at a cost of Rs 5 crore and would cover a major part of Bastar, which is notorious for violence.

The DD Jagdalpur Kendra came into being in 1992. The capacity of the transmitter, at 1 kilowatt (kW), confines telecast in and around the divisional headquarters. Though the minister did not mention the capacity, officials believe it would be no less than 10 kW and would enhance DD coverage in belt almost 10 times.

The move would help connect people of the interior areas in the red zone with the public broadcaster. Though people in the region have access to (direct-to-home) service, they are not connected to local DD as it has not been uplinked with satellite, but has been confined to territorial transmission.

The minister also announced a separate 24x7 DD channel for Chhattisgarh. The proposal was included in DD's three-year action plan. However till the launch of the 24x7 channel, DD Raipur programmes would be telecast on DD Madhya Pradesh.

Naidu said Chhattisgarh related programmes would be provided a special window in the already available 24x7 satellite channel of DD Madhya Pradesh.

Naidu also announced plans to distribute 10,000 free DD set-up boxes in the tribal and remote areas of Chhattisgarh.