GTA issued an order restoring local channels in Darjeeling

The Gorkhaland Territorial Administration has issued an order restoring broadcasting of local cable channels in Darjeeling sub-division from Tuesday despite the existing restrictions imposed by the district administration.

GTA executive member Binay Tamang (right) speaks to the media in Darjeeling on Monday.
GTA executive member Binay Tamang (right)
speaks to the media in Darjeeling on Monday.

GTA information and cultural affairs department executive member Binay Tamang today made the announcement in Darjeeling at a press conference.

“We have decided to allow local channels to operate from tomorrow and have written to the Darjeeling DM, SP, the GTA chief executive and the district information and culture department,” he said.

The Darjeeling Television and the Himali and Hamro Channels broadcast local programmes through cable network. Cultural and religious programmes, educational, entertainment and political events among others are also aired by these channels.

“People depend upon the local channels for all types of information. But of late, these channels have been closed by the district administration. Since the subjects of print and electronic publicity and entertainment have been transferred to the GTA, we have taken the decision to revive the local channels,” asserted Tamang.

The district administration barred the three local channels from operating on August 9 citing non-fulfillment of the required registration criteria. But interestingly, only the local channels of Darjeeling sub-division were closed although channels from the remaining two sub-divisions also broadcast similar programmes. The Darjeeling-based channels were closed in the wake of the latest agitation for statehood. Apparently, the district administration believed the channels had a hand in inciting the general public to participate in the statehood movement.

Following Tamang’s announcement, channel operators expressed gratitude to the GTA for its intervention in allowing them to resume operations.

“We are thankful to the GTA for issuing the order to allow us to start functioning. We have complied with all the rules and regulations. Our channels benefit the public by providing them useful information and also a platform to budding talents,” noted Aditya Raaya of Darjeeling Television.


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