December 5, 2014
A view of upgraded studio room
Islamabad; 5 December, 2014: The Government of Japan has extended assistance to Radio Pakistan to replace years old obsolete technology through a project for "Rehabilitation of Medium Wave Radio Broadcasting Network" implemented by Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA). An inauguration ceremony to this effect was held at Islamabad whereby H.E Mr. Hiroshi Inomata, Ambassador of Japan to Pakistan and H.E. Prof. Ahsan Iqbal, Federal Minister for Planning, Development and Reforms inaugurated newly installed transmitters, a master control room & five studio rooms, which were funded by the Japanese grant of JPY 1.39 billion(approximately PKR 1.4 billion Pakistan Rupees).
Speaking at the event, Ambassador Inomata pointed out that radio broadcasting is still a major source of information, particularly in remote areas. He noted that this project enables Radio Pakistan to reach out to approximately 64 million people in northern Pakistan. He expressed his hope that better access to accurate information on issues such as health, nutrition, economic activities and natural disasters will improve people's lives and thereby contribute to stability of the country.
Mr. Mitsuyoshi Kawasaki, Chief Representative of JICA in his speech emphasised that after the revival of transmitting network under this project, radio can reach the areas of 500km radius covering most part of Punjab, entire Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP), Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) and Gilgit Baltistan. He further mentioned that for the stabilization of the areas near the border with Afghanistan, he is looking forward to close coordination and cooperation between JICA and Pakistan Broadcasting Corporation (PBC) in future for dissemination of the knowledge for livelihood improvement and people's awareness in the area.
The Project has supported PBC and Radio Pakistan Islamabad in replacing old medium wave transmitters in Faqirabad with high powered dual mode transmitters and renovated a master control room and five studios of National Broadcasting House, Islamabad. In case of disasters and crises, medium wave radio broadcasting by the government of Pakistan is instrumental to inform people of situations on the ground and emergency support such as food and shelters. Radio services are equally beneficial in peace-times for providing information on and promoting people's awareness of education, health and many other social and economic issues. Due to 36-year-old transmitters, PBC has had to reduce its area coverage and shorten broadcasting hours: hence, this Project will revive and enhance the capacity of their current service significantly.