The Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (Pemra) — through a notification issued on Wednesday — has directed all the satellite TV Channels in Pakistan to dedicate one minute of their daily morning shows and prime time broadcasts to public service announcements (PSAs) appealing for donations for the construction of dams.

The regulatory body, according to the contents of a notification, has told all the licensed satellite channels in the country to "allocate one minute in every hour during the morning shows and repeat this during the prime time from 7pm to 12am for public service messages for fund raising for the construction of dams".

The directives, which Perma says were issued on the orders of the Supreme Court (dated July 11, 2018) as well as the additional attorney general, further require the channels to hold telethons featuring "celebrities appealing the general public to donate generously for the noble cause".

Pemra has advised channel management that they have three days to submit their reports on the telethon, while it expects a schedule for the PSAs to be furnished right away.

Due to acute and intensifying water shortage in Pakistan, the SC, under Chief Justice Mian Saqib Nisar's stewardship, has taken the task of crowdfunding for the construction of new dams.

Among the steps taken by the SC as part of its water conservation drive is the setting up of accounts at all banks across Pakistan with the purpose of collecting dam-building monies.

The directives issued to TV channels via Pemra today are a step in the same direction.

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