More airports, rail linkages in J&K, Ladakh to boost development: Anurag

Union Minister for Information & Broadcasting, Youth Affairs and Sports Anurag Thakur inaugurates the high power transmitters at world’s highest Radio Station at Humbuting La in Kargil on Saturday. —Excelsior/Basharat Ladakhi
Union Minister for Information & Broadcasting, Youth Affairs and Sports Anurag Thakur inaugurates the high power transmitters at world’s highest Radio Station at Humbuting La in Kargil on Saturday. —Excelsior/Basharat Ladakhi

TV, Radio transmitters at highest altitude launched

Excelsior Correspondent

JAMMU, Sept 25: Union Minister of Information & Broadcasting and Sports & Youth Services Anurag Thakur said today that post abrogation of Articles 370 and 35-A, the Government has expedited development in the Union Territories of Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh.
“The Narendra Modi Government wants infrastructure development in J&K and Ladakh to further go up. It has already got boost. More airports and rail linkages have been proposed,” Thakur said in a brief chat with media persons in Leh after flagging off cycle rally on second-day of his visit to Ladakh.
He said development in the Union Territory of Ladakh has been fast-paced with new projects and there has been no shortage of funds from the Centre. Whatever is required by Ladakh is being given, he added. Click here to watch video
He said with first ever Himalayan Film festival in Leh which was inaugurated by him yesterday, the film shooting in scenic beauty of Ladakh will be encouraged.
“Natural beauty of Ladakh will spread to every nook and corner of the world,” he said, adding that movies of 12 Himalayan States are being shown in the Film Festival.
At Kargil, Anurag said he has issued directions for increasing time for Ladakh in DD Kashir channel.
“Local language programmes of Ladakh and culture and beauty of the Union Territory will be shown worldwide,” he asserted.
On row over Chief Executive Councillor (CEC) Ladakh Autonomous Hill Development Council (LAHDC) Kargil, Feroz Khan, Thakur said he himself approached the CEC and got him to the function.
“We have a big heart,” he said.
Earlier, Thakur launched high-power transmitters of Doordarshan and All India Radio at Hamboting La near Kargil town.
Located at the height of 4,054 metres above the mean sea level, these are the highest altitude TV and radio transmitters in the country.
The range of the 10 kilowatt transmitters is over 50 km in radius.
The existing transmitters at Leh are at the altitude of 3,501 metres (about 11,450 feet).
Speaking on the occasion, the Minister noted that the Hamboting La site is one of the most difficult locations considering the hostile weather conditions and geographical terrain.
Complimenting the team of engineers and workers for completing the project in such hostile weather conditions, Thakur said that the Ladakhi contribution to DD Kashmir will be doubled from 30 minutes to one hour daily from October 1.
Observing that these transmitters would cover a population of about 50,000 in the remote border area of Kargil, he said that the number may look small compared to other parts of the country, but it demonstrates the commitment of the Government to reach each and every citizen in the border areas.
He said that the border coverage by strong signals of radio and television is an important aspect of broadcasting policies of the Government.
The Minister said that it is not only required for providing correct information to the people in the sensitive border areas of Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh but also to counter the propaganda from hostile neighbours.
“The strengthening of terrestrial coverage in border areas also allows the viewers/listeners to be adequately informed about the country’s policies, news and current affairs and simultaneously be entertained by variety of programmes,” he said.
“This will also make educational content available for the students in this region through DD and AIR. Through its TV, radio and digital platforms, Prasar Bharati has been offering various educational contents for school and college students in collaboration with various State Education Departments and institutions,” Thakur said.
In order to make TV and Radio channels accessible to common people, Prasar Bharati is making available over 160 TV channels across different genres, including news, entertainment, education, and 48 radio channels free of cost to DD Free Dish households, the Information and Broadcasting Minister said.
The unique free-to-air model has made DD Free Dish the largest DTH platform with reach to more than four crore households, it said.
Meanwhile, Anurag Thakur today flagged off the second edition of Ultimate Ladakh Cycling Challenge in Leh.
Organized by Ladakh Police in coordination with Cycling Federation of India, the cycle challenge is part of the ‘Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotasav’ and ‘Fit India Movement’.
The Minister said that the motivation behind Fit India Movement, as envisioned by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, is to invigorate fitness consciousness among the people of India.
While emphasizing the role of youth in promoting the Fit India Campaign, Thakur said “Let’s cycle, let’s stay fit, let’s keep India fit. If the youth is fit, India is fit.”
Thakur added that he feels exited seeing the vigour among Ladakh youth participating in the cycling competition at 11,000 feet above the sea level.
The Minister also participated in a cycling competition along with Member of Parliament Jamyang Tsering Namgayal and CEC Tashi Gyalson.