SOURCE : Hindustan Times

The Centre is planning to expand the reach of public broadcaster All India Radio (AIR), especially in border areas. In a written reply to a question in the Lok Sabha (LS) on Wednesday, Union Minister for Information and Broadcasting Prakash Javadekar said that AIR’s broadcasting network provides extensive coverage throughout the country, including rural and border areas.

AIR transmitters cover 99.2% of the country by population and 92 % by area.

Doordarshan (DD) through its DD FreeDish direct-to-home (DTH) Platform provides DD and AIR channels along with many private TV and frequency modulation (FM) channels throughout the country, except for the Andaman and Nicobar Islands.

Prasar Bharati has also made DD and AIR channels available in the Andaman and Nicobar Islands in C-band through satellite, he said.

Prasar Bharati is also providing its AIR and DD channels digitally through the internet and also on the NewsOnAir application (app) available for Android and iOS platforms for mobile phone users, the minister said.

He added that in a bid to improve the coverage of AIR in the country, it had been decided to implement some key projects.

The installation of 32 FM transmitters – ranging from one kilo-watt (kW) to 10 kW – in uncovered locations was one of the initiatives, the minister informed the LS.

Other projects included installation of 100W FM transmitters at 111 locations for localised coverage and installation of five mobile 5 kW FM transmitters along the Line of Control (LoC) in Jammu & Kashmir (J&K).

Installation of a 50 kW SW digital transmitter at Kurseong in West Bengal is another such project.

“To supplement terrestrial TV coverage in border areas, it has been decided to set up five new High Power TV transmitters at Green Ridge, Patnitop and Rajouri (two) in J&K and Himbotingla in Ladakh,” Javadekar said in his reply.