ISLAMABAD: The government of Prime Minister Imran Khan, under its vision of introducing modern trends and technology in different sectors, has planned to fully digitize the state-owned radio bringing about a revolution in the field of broadcasting in the country, and to capture the audience at home and abroad including South Asia and Central Asia and the Middle East through quality news, current affairs and programs.
This information has been revealed in official documents during the ongoing week long national workshop on Digital Radio Migration policy of state-run Radio at Pakistan Broadcasting Academy, Islamabad.
Under the plan, the biggest 1000-Kilowatt DRM Medium-wave transmitting station of state-run Radio will be set up at Fort Monroe hill station in Dera Ghazi Khan district in South Punjab at an estimated cost of three billion rupees.
It will be the first ever most powerful but digital transmitter of state-run Radio that is to be established in center of the country as part of Phase-II of Digital Radio Migration policy and it will help cover the entire population of Pakistan with crystal clear and noise-free waves.
The concerned government authorities are in the process to engage the international donors to execute the gigantic project. With this powerful digital transmitter, Radio Pakistan would also have the capacity to reach out all the strategic destinations like India, Bangladesh, Afghanistan, Iran, China, Center Asia and the Middle East.
It may be mentioned here that India has already installed two 1,000-kilowatt digital transmitters in addition to several different capacity digital transmitters along Pakistan’s border areas and Pakistan direly needed such an initiative to have compatibility with its arch rivals.
The project has already been approved by the federal cabinet while the Punjab government has been asked to acquire land for the said purpose. District Dera Ghazi Khan is situated at a triangular connecting three provinces of Pakistan including Punjab, Sindh and Balochistan. The project would be a great gift for the people of South Punjab as it would help create lot of job opportunities for the locals, removing their sense of deprivation.
Under Phase-II of DRM plan, five DRM+FM transmitters of 10-kilowatt each will be installed in Islamabad, Lahore, Karachi, Faisalabad and Multan in the existing Radio Stations. Besides, eight DRM+FM transmitters of five kilowatt each will be installed in Quetta, Peshawar, Gilgit, Skardu, Gwadar, Mirpur (Azad Kashmir), Khairpur and Narowal in the existing Radio stations. The phase-II of the plan would be accomplished in three years with an overall estimated cost of Rs3153 million.
And under Phase-III of the plan, four DRM medium wave transmitters of 100-kilowatt each will be installed in Lahore, Skardu, Quetta and Peshawar for strategic purposes. Completion of phase- III in two years will cost an estimated 800 million rupees.
It is worthwhile to mention here that work on Phase-I of the DRM plan is already in progress under which the existing 400-kilowatt DRM-enabled Medium Wave transmitter at Peshawar and 100 KW DRM – enabled Medium Wave transmitter at Dera Ismail Khan will be upgraded for operation on simulcast mode as well as pure digital mode at an estimated cost of Rs176.882 million.