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5 div to get BTV stations

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Staff Report A move is underway to set up five full-fledged TV stations of Bangladesh Television (BTV) in Rajshahi, Khulna, Sylhet, Rangpur and Barisal regions, aiming to give the state-run television channel a competitive edge. The government is working to implement a project to this end titled ‘Establishment of Full Fledged Five TV Station of Bangladesh Television’ at an estimated cost of about Tk 997.50 crore, a Planning Commission official told wishing anonymity. He said the main objectives of the project are to implement full-fledged digital TV transmission, produce digital TV contents on regional, cultural and historic programs of the region. According to him, the Planning Ministry approved in principle the Preliminary Development Project Proforma (PDPP) on November 13, 2014. BTV will implement the project by June 2018. The proposed project will also help adopt Digital Terrestrial Television Broadcasting (DTTT) system, among other infrastructures. Of the total estimated cost of Tk 997.50 crore for the proposed project, Tk 188.25 crore has been estimated for Rajshahi TV Station, Tk 188.25 crore for Khulna TV Station, Tk 205.00 crore for Sylhet TV Station, Tk 188.25 crore for Rangpur TV Station while Tk 227.00 crore for Barisal TV Station. About the possible financing for the project, another official at the Economic Relations Division (ERD) said the government is expecting the fund from the Chinese government or state-owned company or any other development partner. A Finance Ministry official who also preferred not to be named said a process is underway to manage the estimated cost of the project around $ 127.89 million as grant or concessional loan from the Chinese government. Once the five stations of BTV are established, programs to be telecast by digital system as well as quality and quantity of TV channel will increase with the installation of the latest technology for broadcasting. More importantly, according to the officials, these programs will help disseminate government policies, information about health, agriculture and environment, and expand education, including that of women and children, in addition to expanding the opportunities for entertainment. Bangladesh Television, a state-owned national TV station began its operations in 1964. BTV transmits programs for 18 hours a day terrestrially through 16 locations which has a potential coverage of about 97 percent of the territory and 98 percent of the population.