LUCKNOW: The information and broadcasting ministry issued an order shutting down the traditional analog transmitters at 18 locations in the country, including DD UP, Lucknow Kendra, from Friday thereby depriving lakhs of rural viewers of entertainment, news and information telecast by Doordarshan.
The directorate of Doordarshan, Delhi flashed its order on Friday shutting down the analog transmission from all 18 centres of Doordarshan National, Doordarshan News and Doordarshan regional centres. The process for shutting down the analog transmission was complete by late evening.
“It is unfortunate that the ministry has ordered immediate closure of traditional transmission system when it has not introduced modern digital technology. The TV sets of rural viewers who were watching DD programmes through existing system will go blank,” lamented a senior executive of Doordarshan Lucknow while sharing the information with TOI.
He said that rural viewers watched DD programmes without paying any fee, but now they would be compelled to switch to private broadcasters and pay monthly charges.
Despite penetration of private news and entertainment channels, Doordarshan is still unchallenged leader in rural viewership as private broadcasters are yet to penetrate the hinterlands. Even the Government of India depends on Doordarshan to propagate its flagship programmes like Swachch Bharat, ODF, health and family planning and agriculture sector to target rural masses.
If new technology is not introduced soon, DD may also lose its status of being the unchallenged number one in rural areas.
The NDA government had in 2014 promised to phase out analog transmission system by 2017 and replace it with digital system in Doordarshan. But the I&B has failed to replace the outdated analog transmission system and has taken an abrupt decision of shutting it down with immediate effect.