India’s second largest TV tower a white elephant

"The main purpose of tower was to weaken the signals from Pakistan, but even now many villages close to Pakistan get to watch the programmes being telecast by the neighbouring country, courtesy the cable network. Most of the locals watched this year's Cricket World Cup on Pakistani TV channels as the signal from the Indian networks was not good enough to relay the programmes, said a villager, with his home near the tower.

The Fazilka district administration has, in the past, warned the cable operators asking them to stop telecasting the Pakistani channels, but to no avail.

However, Amarnath, the deputy director in the department of telecommunications, Bhatinda region, said: "Our TV tower is still of much use as in many villages in the interiors, people cannot go for cable connection. So they watch the Doordarshan channels, which are free".

In order to make utilise the tower and earn some revenue, the authorities had decided to launch FM radio service. It also plans to start relaying programmes made at the TV station here.

The building to run the radio station is ready for more than a year, but till date the equipment to telecast the programmes has not arrived the from the department of information of broadcasting and telecommunication. The department has not even taken electricity connection of this building for want of funds.

Amarnath , however, said, "Our project (on FM service) is ready and we are waiting for the machinery from Delhi office".

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