After the Union Cabinet approved the “Broadcast Infrastructure Network Development (BIND)” Scheme with an outlay of Rs. 2539.61 Cr on January 4, works have taken off.
These works relate to modernization, upgradation and expansion of All India Radio and Doordarshan for the five-year period ending 2025-26.
The plan includes priority projects of AIR and Doordarshan with focus on expansion and strengthening of the FM radio Network and Mobile TV Production facilities amounting to Rs. 950 Cr which are to be completed on fast-track mode.
The plan aims at major upgradation to create better infrastructure and widen the public broadcaster’s reach in LWE, border and strategic areas. Development of high-quality content for both domestic and international audience, availability of diverse content by upgrading capacity of DTH platform to accommodate more channels will expand the choice available to the audience. The plan also aims at expansion of FM network primarily in tier II & tier-III cities with focus on LWE and aspirational districts.
Amongst the twin verticals of Prasar Bharati, AIR serves its listeners in country through 501 AIR Broadcasting Centers with 653 AIR Transmitters (122 Medium Wave, 7 Short Wave and 524 FM Transmitters) giving World Services, Neighbourhood Services, 43 Vividh Bharati Channels, 25 Rainbow Channels and 4 FM Gold Channels.
Doordarshan serves its viewers with 66 Doordarshan Kendra producing 36 DD Channels, disseminating through various delivery platforms such as Cable, DTH, IPTV “NewsOnAIR” mobile app, various YouTube Channels and with its international channel DD India having a global presence in 190+ countries on various platforms.
The following major activities have been planned under the BIND Scheme
Increasing the FM coverage in the country to 66.29% by geographical area and 80.23% by population up from 58.83% and 68% respectively.
Increasing the coverage of AIR FM to 63.02% from the existing 48.27% at the Indo Nepal border.
Increasing the AIR FM coverage from 62% to 76% along the J&K Border.
A 20 kW FM transmitter will be installed at 300 m tower at Rameswaram to cover an area of 30,000 sq.km.
Face Lift of DD & AIR Channels by installing latest broadcasting and studio equipment at Prasar Bharati facilities.
Upgradation of Earth Stations at DDK Vijayawada and Leh to 24 hrs. channel.
Rolling out of Fly away units for covering the prestigious National Ceremony/events and VVIP coverages.
28 Regional Doordarshan channels to be migrated as High-Definition program production capable Kendras.
31 Regional News Units in entire Doordarshan network will be upgraded and modernized with latest equipment for efficient news gathering.
Upgradation and Replacement of Earth Stations at DDK Guwahati, Shillong, Aizawl, Itanagar, Agartala, Kohima, Imphal, Gangtok and Port Blair for uplinking HDTV channels.
Some prominent features of the plan are as follows: