Stillborn 2008 plan gets new lease of life

Stillborn 2008 plan gets new lease of life

Telecasting session was found not feasible due to high costs

The proposal to launch a dedicated channel to telecast the Legislature session proceedings on the lines of Lok Sabha TV was once junked by the Assembly secretariat after finding it not feasible to implement.

The proposal to start a dedicated channel was mooted in 2008 when Jagadish Shettar was the Speaker. But the secretariat junked the proposal as it was found not feasible, requiring huge investment for the necessary infrastructure. 

Moreover, it was found that the infrastructure would remain unutilised for most part of the year as the Legislature session is held for an average of only 40 days in a year (as per the rule book, the session should be held for a minimum of 60 days in a year). 

As a result, the proposal was discarded, sources said. The sources said no other state in the country has a dedicated channel to telecast Legislature proceedings. 

However, in the wake of the media exposing three former ministers watching porn clips in the Assembly recently, the proposal has been revived. 

Once an alternative system is put in place, the private TV news channels will be barred from directly covering the proceedings.  Instead, they will have to borrow clippings from the Legislature secretariat. 

Speaking to reporters after a meeting held at the Vidhana Soudha, Legislative Council chairman D H Shankaramurthy said mediapersons, especially those from private TV news channels, were causing a lot of disturbance in the House. 
“There is a system to conduct the proceedings. Everybody should behave in a manner that would uphold the dignity of the House. But mediapersons running around the House to cover the proceedings is causing disturbance. I do not want any disturbance in the House. Hence, steps are being taken to bring in discipline and order,” he said.

Sources said the Broadcast Engineering Consultants India Limited (BECIL) wanted to make a powerpoint presentation on the plan to restrict the media in the Legislature. 

The BECIL’s plan is to record the proceedings and hand over the clippings to Doordarshan for telecast. The plan is estimated to cost Rs 17 crore. But, Chief Minister D V Sadananda Gowda said a hasty decision should not be taken in the matter. He directed the officials to present their plan at the next meeting.