150 illegal FM radio stations closed down, National Assembly told -Pakistan Press Foundation (PPF)

Paksitan Press Foundtion

150 illegal FM radio stations closed down, National Assembly told

ISLAMABAD (February 20 2007): The National Assembly was told on Monday that government has closed down 150 private FM radio stations, which were operating illegally and various complaints were being received against them.

Answering a question on the number of FM radio stations in the country, State Minister for Information and Broadcasting Tariq Azeem said that there were total of sixteen FM radio stations operating under Pakistan Broadcasting Corporation (PBC). However, he disclosed that 150 illegal FM radio stations operating privately have been closed down.

On the mobile sets blockage system, Dr Farid Ahmad Paracha raised a supplementary question whether the blockage system of stolen mobile sets chip has given any benefit to the customers, the parliamentary secretary of Cabinet Division Dr Kausar Firdous stated that the Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) has constituted a cell with the help of police and it is the responsibility of the police to return recovered sets to the owner. PTA is the only blocking authority, she added.

To a question from Rana Mehmood-ul-Hassan, Firdous said that a system with the help of PTA and mobile operators has been evolved to block snatched/stolen cellular handsets from September 30, 2006. Through this system mobile subscribers are facilitated to obtain their International Mobile Equipment Identity (IMEI) number by dialling *No 06 No and in case of snatching/theft can contact 15 police helpline to report the incident, PTA’s toll free number 080025625, Citizens-Police Liaison Committee (CPLC) at Tel. No 021-5682222 or even email:imei@pta.gov.pk. The blocking will disable its usage, she added.

She said that a zonal office of PTA has been established at Karachi and has been declared a “Central Body” of the network formed for co-ordinated efforts in implementing the IMEI policy. The said office is acting as “Hub of all connected activities” to monitor the complaints. There are also local offices in the cities, she informed.

Answering a supplementary question from Ejaz Chaudhry, that there were reports of distributors/franchisers not complying with the instructions of PTA and issuing chips without Identity Card copy, she replied that the law is there, if in some cases it is ignored it should be pointed out. The dealers are instructed to issue the SIM on verification from the original CNIC.

On a question from Shabbir Ahmed Khan about the water filtration plants, the Minister for Science and Technology (MoST) Chaudhry Nouraiz Shakoor Khan said that on the instructions of Prime Minister, Pakistan Council of Research in Water Resources (PCRWR), MoST has launched a mega project “Provision of safe Drinking Water” for a period of five years. One of the component of the project is to establish 18 new water quality monitoring laboratories in 18 districts in addition to upgradation of 6 existing labs and installation of 24 water filtration plants for the provision of safe water.

The province-wise detail regarding establishment of water quality laboratories and model water filtration is given as: Capital Territory-1; Balochistan-3; Punjab-10; NWFP-3; Sindh-4 and AJK Fata/Fana-3.

He said that target is to complete nine labs in a year, the filtration plants are attached to these labs. He further said that PCRWR is only installing model water filtration plants in 24 districts (one in each district), only for demonstration and research purposes. Ministry of Industries is mandated to install one plant in each Union Council under the project “Clean Drinking Water for All”.

More than 6,500 filtration plants would be installed under this programme. PCRWR is conducting water quality assessment survey of locations where filtration plants will be installed, he added.
Source: Business Recorder