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Prasar Bharati strengthens monitoring system for expansion projects

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NEW DELHI: Even as it denies any delay in implementation of projects, Prasar Bharati has admitted to several projects that were earmarked in the Tenth Plan but are being continued in the Eleventh Plan in both television and radio.

Prasar Bharati sources admitted that three Doordarshan projects and 47 radio stations were still to be completed, though approved in the Tenth Plan.

The sources said that a high-level committee had been constituted under the chairmanship of the chief executive officer for project monitoring and implementation to speed up the work. An Empowered Committee of Finance has also been set up to resolve all issues related to finance.

In addition, Project Monitoring Committee has been set up under the chairmanship of the Director General to strengthen the monitoring mechanism for their projects. Nodal officers have been nominated for the schemes included in the Result Framework Document. A time schedule has been drawn up for procurement and all major activities of a project has been drawn and the progress is being monitored.

In another move, the financial power of the Director General has been restored to Rs 200 million.

The three DD projects include a studio centre at Tirupati in Andhra Pradesh for which the studio building has been constructed and major equipment procured. The project will be completed during the current financial year.

For the second project – a High Power Transmitter at Mehboobnagar in Andhra Pradesh – the building has been constructed and orders placed for transmitter equipment and tower. The project will be completed in the year 2012-13.

The third project is the setting up of a very lower power transmitter at Jogindernagar in the Andaman and Nicobar Islands which will be completed in 2012.

A total of 149 radio stations had been approved for AIR in November 2007, of which 102 have been completed and work is in progress at the remaining 47 places.

In addition, new FM transmitters have been approved under the 11th Plan (130 under the digitalisation scheme and eight places under the Jammu and Kashmir Special Scheme). Of these, the set-up has been completed in only one place.

The sources admitted that the major reasons for the delays were the delay by the state in offering a suitable site, delay in completion of building because of local problems, and delay in procurement of 10 KW FM transmitters due to litigation.

At present there are 1415 DD transmitters functioning in the country (214 HPT, 812 LPT and 389 VLPT) and these are functioning satisfactorily. However, the sources admitted that delays were also caused in attending to complaints relating to unmanned VLPTs as staff had to be sent from other stations.

The country has 396 AIR transmitters (149 Medium Wave, 193 FM, and 54 Short Wave) which were functional in 252 stations.

Of the 313 cities where the Government has approved FM expansion in the Third Phase, AIR already has FM in 153 or these are in the pipeline. Of the remaining 160 cities, AIR is planning 100 Watt FM transmitters in 50 of the remaining 160 cities in the 11th Plan. In addition, the old transmitters at 34 places were being replaced by new FM transmitters.

A project is also being readied for production facilities at all the 160 cities, for approval under the 12th Plan.
An amount of Rs 1.42 billion had been sanctioned for AIR FM expansion under the Eleventh Plan.

State governments in 19 states had been asked to allocate land free of cost to AIR for setting up the AIR FM channels.

Source: Indiantelevision.com

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