Chennai : Tamil Nadu government has informed the Madras High Court that Live telecast of TN assembly proceedings is not feasible as the state has to invest about Rs 60 crore on putting in place high-end studio floors with cameras, audio system and support engineering team etc.
Responding to Lok Satta Party’s PIL seeking Live telecast of TN assembly proceedings in order to improve accountability in legislative business, the assembly secretariat said nearly 80% of states in the country did not have live telecast arrangements.
To run a dedicated channel for the assembly, a team of 82 personnel comprising camera operators, audio engineers, lighting engineers, floor managers, editors and producers has to be assembled, and it would involve a tentative recurring expenditure of Rs 20.6 lakh a month, it said.
Denying the PIL’s contention that there was no transparency as of now about legislative business, the counter-affidavit said general public are allowed to witness entire proceedings from visitors’ galleries, and print media continues to be one of the main sources of information relating to business transacted in the House.
Almost all important sections of the media have been given a place in the press gallery of the assembly, and video footage running to nearly two hours’ duration is given to television channels on the days the assembly meets. It is made available to them every evening, it said, adding that some states give live telecast or web casting of proceedings.
“The assembly speaker is of the opinion that the existing means for dissemination of information on the Tamil Nadu legislative assembly proceedings are quite adequate to meet the needs of citizens, and live telecast required high expenditure since it involved installation of permanent equipment and maintenance of production facilities as done in both Houses of Parliament. It is, therefore, not necessary,” the counter said.
Meanwhile, actor-politician Vijayakanth also filed a petition to get impleaded as a party to the proceedings, saying he was willing to Live telecast of TN assembly proceedings for free of cost. His DMDK runs Captain TV.
The first bench comprising Chief Justice Sanjay Kishan Kaul and Jusice T S Sivagnanam, before whom the matter came up for hearing, however, rejected Vijayakanth’s plea saying he sought to score some “extra mile by getting impleaded in the petition.” It, however, admitted the main petition and issued notices.