Port Blair, April 10: The Member of Parliament, Shri. Kuldeep Rai Sharma has urged the Hon'ble Union Minister, Ministry of Information and Broadcasting, Government of India to impress upon Prasar Bharati to implement DD Free Dish DTH service in Andaman & Nicobar Islands so that the people residing in the remote Islands also get benefits of the Doordarshan Free Dish DTH service.

In a letter addressed to the Union Minister, Sharma mentioned that the Government of India in the year 2004 had launched Doordarshan Free Dish - Direct to Home (DTH) service which is India’s first and the only Free-to-Air (FTA) Direct-To-Home (DTH) Service from Prasar Bharati in which the subscribers are not charged any activation and monthly subscription charges. It only requires a small one-time investment of about ₹2,000 for purchasing the Doordarshan Free Dish set-top box and dish with accessories which can be obtained from the open market.

The DTH operators charge activation charges as well as monthly subscription charges depending upon the channels/bouquet to be viewed by subscribers which poor people find difficult to pay as being a recurring expenditure.

He added that now Doordarshan Free Dish DTH service hosts a total of 167 TV channels and 48 Radio channels, including 91 Doordarshan channels, comprising 51 co-branded educational channels, and 76 private TV channels. Further the Ministry is planning to add many more entertainment, news and educational channels for the benefit of viewers.

The Member of Parliament said that this service of Prasar Bharati is gaining popularity all over India as is evident from a recent statement given the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting as per which between the year 2017 to 2022, the Free DTH service of Doordarshan has clocked a stellar growth of almost 100 percent from 22 million in 2017 to 43 million in 2022.

He mentioned that the Doordarshan Free Dish DTH service is available throughout the country but unfortunately the Andaman & Nicobar Islands are not provided with this service of Prasar Bharati.

Kuldeep Rai Sharma pointed out that people from various states of India speaking different languages reside in distantly and remotely located Islands of Andaman & Nicobar Islands. Doordarshan Free Dish - Direct to Home service of the Prasar Bharati broadcasts TV and Radio programs free of cost in different languages of India, implementation of the scheme for Andaman & Nicobar Islands in true perspective will fulfil the need and aspirations of multilingual people residing in Andaman & Nicobar Islands having settled down from various States of India besides being charged nil for this service.

The Member of Parliament added that students with different mother tongue will also be benefited from the educational programs telecasted in different languages.