The government has announced a special broadcasting package for the North-East region. Information & Broadcasting Minister Sushma Swaraj said that the cabinet approved the northeast package on Tuesday. The cost of the package would be determined after it is approved by the Expenditure Finance Committee (EFC), the minister said. However, sources say that package would be around Rs 700 crore.
A major portion of the North-East package would spill over to the Tenth Plan, an amount of Rs 22 crore has already been sanctioned by the government for advance action on the project. The N-E package will be similar to the Rs 430-crore J&K plan, which would be completely implemented by March 2002.
The N-E plan has to be implemented by March 2005, though its first phase is expected to be over by March 2002.
The government is focussing on terrestrial transmission in the region for better impact. As per the highlights, the I&B ministry proposes to upgrade five high power transmitters (HPTs) and add 18 more to the existing 14 HPTs.
Also, it will add 25 low power and very low power transmitters to the existing 104 LPTs and VLPTs. The ministry has also proposed to introduce 16 new FM radio stations in the region.
The government is also experimenting in the region with cable transmission. In the first phase itself, it is picking up 20 villages in each town for supplying cable connection on a trial basis. If this programme is a success, the ministry has sought cabinet nod for its extension.
As per government assessment, the areawise coverage of DD in Arunachal Pradesh would increase to 63 per cent from the present 17 per cent; in Manipur to 99 per cent from 32 per cent; in Mizoram to 99 per cent from 68 per cent; and in Nagaland to 99 per cent from 69 per cent after this package is implemented.