Militant threat, pending dues has DD jittery
Doordarshan rushed additional director general Mukesh Chander Sharma to Guwahati over reported militant threat over non-payment of dues to over 100 producers in the region, reports Chetan Chauhan.delhi Updated: Jan 14, 2009 23:32 IST
Doordarshan on Monday rushed additional director general Mukesh Chander Sharma to Guwahati over reported militant threat over non-payment of dues to over 100 producers in the region.
The producers claim they haven’t been paid since May 2008. Doordarshan in March had empanelled local filmmakers to produce programmes under a special broadcast package of the Home Ministry.
The ministry sanctions Rs 15 crore to Doordarshan every year for running special programmes in militant affected areas like Kashmir and the Northeast. Asgar Ahmed, a local producer alleged that while DD made the first installment in May 2008, no money has since been given to the producers, though the programmes went on air as schedule.
DD officials however, are busy in the blame game. Guwahati DD director Deven Basumudari blamed the Directorate of Doordarshan in Delhi. “The Delhi office did not sanction adequate money,” he said. And an official in the Delhi office told HT, “There is no money with us to make the payment."
In first week of January, a person reportedly claiming to be from a local militant group threatened the DD’s Guwahati office about the payment. Basumudari, however, refused to validate any militant threat.
A DD official said decision to send Sharma was taken as the situation was deemed alarming. Prasar Bharati CEO B.S. Lalli and Doordarshan Director General Noreen Naqvi couldn’t be contacted despite several attempts.