GUWAHATI, July 22 - Uncertainty looms large over the future of programme production in Doordarshan Kendra, Guwahati, due to non-allocation of funds even after more than three months of the current financial year. It is learnt that Prasar Bharati has allocated funds to the other centres of the country for the financial year 2016-17.
Amid allegations of discrimination against the region in fund allocation, the recording of programmes has come to a halt at the centres in the Northeast. Already reeling under liabilities due to non-release of funds on time, the 12 Kendras of the Northeast, including four in Assam, have now been left in the lurch due to the unprecedented situation.
According to sources, this is for the first time in the history of Prasar Bharati that barring the centres in the Northeast and Jammu & Kashmir all other centres have been given funds.
�The Programme Production Centre (North East), Doordarshan is running the 24-hour satellite channel. Other Kendras of the region also contribute programmes for running the channel. But due to non-receipt of funds, all the centres have stopped producing programmes and the same programmes are being repeated, to which viewers are reacting adversely,� sources said.
Further, the artistes who are dependent on Doordarshan for showcasing their talents, especially in small centres, have been affected and demoralized due to the situation.
Also, growing liabilities is another big concern for such centres as the sum released for the year 2015-16 fell far short of the sanctioned budget grant (SBG). Despite repeated correspondence from the centres in NE, neither the Prasar Bharati nor the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting has come up with any explanation.
In case of the PPC (NE), only Rs 1.15 crore was released during the last fiscal against the SBG of Rs 2.3 crore. Similarly, majority of the centres in NE have huge liabilities.
�Even if the government is planning to make the centres run from their own revenue generation, not all the centres of the region, including those in tribal areas would be able to do so. Moreover, the centres must be informed about any such move,� sources added.
The programmes produced in the DDK of the region not only provide a platform to showcase the ethnic and tribal culture of the region and promote the artistes but also strengthens national integration, as some of the programmes are aired in other parts of the country as well.