In a development that lays credence to the Centre’s alleged stepmotherly treatment to the North-east, a crucial facility supplied to the Doordarshan Kendras (DDKs) and Programme Production Centres (PPCs) of the North-east has been widely regarded as outdated and serving little purpose.
Significantly, the facility - D-9 camera and its edit suit- is in use only in the DDKs and PPCs of the North-east. The rest of the DDKs in the country use upgraded cameras such as DVC-Pro. PPC Guwahati, DDK Gangtok, DDK Shillong, DDK Tura, DDK Kohima, DDK Itanagar, DDK Imphal, DDK Silchar, DDK Dibrugarh, DDK Aizawl and DDK Agartala have been using D-9 cameras and accessories for years. DDK Guwahati happens to be the sole exception in the region using the advanced DVC-Procamera.
Worse, in some cases, the equipment supplied to the DDKs was second-hand material diverted from Kendras outside the North-east. Sources revealed to The Assam Tribune that using the D-9 camera had several critical limitations and invariably resulted in sub-standard recording and editing. It is also unsuitable for preservation and archival purposes.
“While the 24-minute duration cassette used in D-9 camera is out of market, the 64-minute and 104-minute duration cassettes cannot take load during playback and recording, rendering them useless for long-duration recordings.” sources added. Moreover, the cassettes are suitable only for two-time use and lack longevity that come in the way of archival preservation.
Resentment is brewing among officials and employees of the DDKs of the region who feel that the situation smacks of a conspiracy against the North-east. “If the D-9 camera is better, why not supply it to the rest of the DDKs of the country?” a disgruntled official said.
The DDK and PPC fraternity of the region had taken up the matter with the higher authorities in New Delhi several times but to no avail.