Radio Pakistan to go off air in favour of sports complex

Published August 27, 2015
The Radio Pakistan land is being taken over under the pretext of constructing a sports complex and park.—Farooq Soomro/File
The Radio Pakistan land is being taken over under the pretext of constructing a sports complex and park.—Farooq Soomro/File

Quetta: The Balochistan government has finalised a plan to take over 64 acres of land owned by Radio Pakistan in Quetta by shutting down the station’s transmission, removing its machinery and transmission towers from the Sariab area.

On Wednesday, sources confirmed that government officials had been directed to put finishing touches on the plan to take over land worth billions of rupees belonging to the radio station. Sources claim that the land was being taken over under the pretext of constructing a sports complex and park.

Also read: Radio Pakistan woes

“You will not be able to listen to local shows or programmes in other languages from Radio Pakistan Quetta,” said a senior Radio Pakistan official while talking to IDawnI. “The government is going to remove the transmission towers and other machinery from the land on Sariab Road. It was allotted to Radio Pakistan in 1964.”

He added that by using this piece of land for a sports complex would be like gagging the voice of the station as it would be take several shows, including those on recitation of the Holy Quran and other popular programmes in different languages, off the air.According to the station’s senior official, when a government official was asked about why they wanted these 64 acres, he replied: “Some people have had their eyes set on this precious land for a long time. They want to take over the land by claiming to build a sports complex even though Quetta already has a large sports complex [Ayub Stadium].”

The station was set up in Quetta in 1956 on 64 acres on Sariab Road. In 1959, Radio Pakistan installed medium-wave and short-wave transmitters on the property so the station’s programmes could be heard all over the province.

Radio Pakistan Quetta had installed 93.5 kilowatt transmission on the site before Ramazan this year, and had launched an FM transmission, “Sout-ul-Quran”, for programmes related to recitation of the Holy Quran and Islamic teachings.An official of Radio Pakistan expressed fears that if the provincial government decided to go ahead with the plan, these transmissions and shows would have to be taken off the airwaves.

A government official said the Shahwani Sports Stadium constructed by the government had the capacity for building a new sports complex and was located close to Radio Pakistan. He said that the provincial government also had acres of official land available on the Hazarganji and Sibi roads linking to Sariab Road and they could construct a new sports complex there instead.

He added that he did not know why the provincial government was insisting on constructing a sports complex on Radio Pakistan’s property. A senior official of the radio station said the Pakistan Broadcasting Corporation should take notice of what was happening in Quetta and ask the federal government to release funds to install powerful transmitters and other equipment to enable Radio Pakistan Quetta to air its programmes for listeners across the province.

Published in Dawn, August 27th, 2015

On a mobile phone? Get the Dawn Mobile App: Apple Store | Google Play

Opinion

Climate & youth

Climate & youth

Disillusionment and anxiety are on the rise among youth as they confront the diminishing prospects of a better tomorrow.
Our exclusivity syndrome
Updated 17 Oct 2021

Our exclusivity syndrome

Pakistan needs at least a minimum level of inclusivity that can keep alive democratic values.
Shafqat Kakakhel
Updated 16 Oct 2021

Shafqat Kakakhel

COP26 has to achieve consensus on several issues.

Editorial

Carnage in Kandahar
Updated 17 Oct 2021

Carnage in Kandahar

Pakistan’s anti-extremism policy is in many ways half-baked and inconsistent.
17 Oct 2021

Sanctity of contracts

PAKISTAN is facing yet another international dispute before the International Centre for Settlement of Investment...
17 Oct 2021

New sports policy

THIS week, the Pakistan Football Federation Normalisation Committee chief Haroon Malik was in Zurich to hold ...
Diminishing freedom
Updated 16 Oct 2021

Diminishing freedom

DESPITE the serious reservations of digital rights activists and tech companies, the federal government has...
16 Oct 2021

Dirty politics

IN her outburst against Prime Minister Imran Khan this week, PML-N leader Maryam Nawaz may not have taken names but...
16 Oct 2021

Decreasing emissions

THE announcement by SAPM on Climate Change Malik Amin Aslam that carbon emissions in the country came down by 9pc...