Priority to improving TV, radio in Kashmir: Soni

Srinagar : The government gives high priority to improving the quality of television and radio transmission in Jammu and Kashmir, Information and Broadcasting Minister Ambika Soni said here Tuesday.

Speaking at the inaugural session of the All India Editors’ Conference on social and infrastructure issues, Soni said: “One of the highest priorities is to improve the quality of TV and radio transmission and increasing the broadcast coverage in the state.”

An allocation of bout Rs.100 crore has been made in the current fiscal for setting up high-power TV transmitters in the border areas of the state and low-power FM transmitters in uncovered areas of the state, she said.

Soni said three high-power transmitters will be set up at Sirpath, Jasrota Top and Khalsar in Kashmir, Jammu and Leh regions respectively.

“One FM transmitter would be provided at Naushera and one TV transmitter for DD-1 and DD-News at Rajouri. Low-power FM transmitters at four locations are also to be set up,” she said.

“It is also proposed to open up more towns to private FM channels with special incentives for border areas under the new FM Phase III policy, which is on the anvil,” she added.

Also, a new Doordarshan studio at Leh is expected to be completed during 2010.

Soni said her ministry plans to set up a centre of the Indian Institute of Mass Communication (IIMC) in the state. “I have requested the chief minister to earmark four to seven acres of land, free of cost, for this purpose,” she added.

Inaugurating the conference, Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Omar Abdullah said there is a significant change in the state for the better and his coalition government is giving priority to the issues of electricity, road, water, health and education to benefit the masses.

“Violence has come down in the state and the people, especially youth, are now looking for employment opportunities for the betterment of life,” he added.

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