Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh has urged Union Minister for Information and Broadcasting Manish Tiwari to extend the accessibility of Doordarshan Kendra Shimla on Direct to Home (DTH) Platform. He said that it would facilitate the people of remote areas of State to watch the programmes of DDK Shimla including News bulletins. Chief Minister has made this request to I&B Minister through a written communiqué.
Virbhadra Singh has apprised the Union Minister about the tough topography of Himachal Pradesh and considerable area of the State borders with neighboring countries. Besides, sizable area of the State remains snowbound for more than six month a year; cutting it from rest of the world and these conditions make it necessary to have a strong network of Doordarshan.
Chief Minister stressed that arduous topography of the State make it a fit case even for out of turn allotment of frequency band on DTH platform by relaxing the pre-conditions, if any. He said that the programmes of DDK, Shimla were not available on DTH even after a lapse of about two decades since it started functioning at State Capital. He said that with only terrestrial transmission available, people of the State had a limited access to Doordarshan Kendra Shimla.
Virbhadra Singh said that he had taken up the matter with Union I&B Minister regarding providing 5000 DTH sets to be installed in the fringe tribal areas of the Himachal Pradesh. He said that Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh during his visit to the State in May, 2005 on his request, had made an announcement of providing 20,000 DTH receive system for the tribal areas.
Chief Minister said that, the then Union Minister of Information &Broadcasting Mrs. Ambika Soni had informed in the year 2009 that the Prasar Bharti had included Himachal Pradesh for distribution of 5000 DTH sets under the DTH scheme of Doordarshan during 11th Five year plan. He said that State Government had not received these DTH sets till now even as the 11th five year plan was over. He said that people of the tribal areas who were living in tough climatic conditions were still deprived off watching Doordarshan programmes and they should get this facility at the earliest.
Virbhadra Singh informed the Union Minister that 20000 DTH sets were received by the State through Union Government in the year 2008 which were installed in tribal areas of the State i.e. Lahaul, Spiti, Kinnaur, Bharmour and Pangi.
Chief Minister has urged that 5000 DTH Sets should be provided at earliest, as agreed upon by the GoI, besides considering all fringe areas of the State for providing DTH sets on the analogy of such scheme of the Prasar Bharti for the North Eastern States.