: As India‘s Highways Minister, Kamal Nath, has announced the plans to build 20 kilometres of roads a day from June 2010, BBC Hindi is embarking on a three-week journey across India to find out how this construction may change the nation. As part of the ambitious multimedia project, Highway Hindustan - Rasta Future Ka, from Monday 22 March, a team of BBC journalists will cover about 2,500 kilometres, travelling along India‘s Golden Quadrilateral highway network which connects Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata and Chennai.
With live interactive radio shows and text, blogs, audio and video features online on bbchindi.com, the BBC teams will investigate the effects of the construction on the lives of individuals and communities alike. The following issues are in the BBC‘s spotlight:
• What difference will these roads bring to the lives of farmers who have so far sold their produce to the middleman or in the local market? Will they be able to sell their produce in better markets?
• Will they help bridge the divides in a country that is home to several languages, different regions and religions and make way for a more cosmopolitan and tolerant environment?
• Will it bring about an auto boom and mean the demise of mass transit system in India?
• Will affected villages become hubs for HIV or centres of opportunity?
• What would be the impact on environment?
Head of BBC Hindi, Amit Baruah, says: “India is one of the world‘s fastest-growing economies, and adding 20 kilometres of road to the country‘s landscape every day will no doubt result in some astounding changes. With Highway Hindustan , BBC Hindi is mounting an ambitious programming on radio and online, providing our audiences with credible reports and in-depth analysis of the economic, ecological, social and political angles of this major story.”
The Highway Hindustan project consists of two journeys along the Golden Quadrilateral highway network: from Varanasi to Singur, near Kolkata, and from Chennai to Mumbai. The BBC teams‘ itinerary includes stops in Varanasi, Gaya, Dhanbad, Singur/Kolkata, Chennai, Bangalore, Hubli, Pune and Mumbai.
Highway Hindustan is part of BBC Hindi‘s news and current-affairs programming, produced from London and Delhi, and is available on shortwave, medium wave and via mobile phones. The BBC also offers special ´infotainment‘ output for India‘s FM market, in Hindi and Tamil, available via partner stations across India, in the UAE and in the US. Hindi-speakers globally can get the latest news and analysis, audio as well as video features from India and elsewhere on the BBC's constantly updated Hindi-language news website bbchindi.com, which is now available on mobile phones as well.
Details of the journey is as follows :
Varanasi - 21/22 March 2010
Dehri-on-Sone - 23-25 March 2010
Dhanbad - 26-27 March 2010
Kolkata - 28-30 March 2010
Chennai - 31 March-2 April 2010
Bangalore - 3-4 April 2010
Chitradurga - 5 April 2010
Hubli - 6 April 2010
Kolhapur - 7 April 2010
Pune - 8 April 2010
Mumbai - 9-10 April 2010
Notes to editors
BBC Hindi programmes are produced from London and Delhi, set in a rolling format, with news, current affairs and features. The interactive morning and evening programmes, Namaskar Bharat, Tees Minute and Din Bhar, Is Waqt, bring news, analysis and interviews on a range of issues, from current affairs and careers to showbiz and sports. BBC Hindi is available on shortwave, medium wave, FM, internet radio and via cable television. Hindi-speakers globally can get the latest news and analysis, audio as well as video features from India - the BBC's constantly updated Hindi-language news website bbchindi.com, which is now available on mobile phones as well. The BBC‘s special output for India‘s FM market includes infotainment updates in Hindi and Tamil languages. This programming is available via partner stations in India such as :
BIG 92.7FM Agra, Ajmer, Aligarh, Allahabad, Amritsar, Asansol, Bareilly, Baroda, Bhopal, Bhubhaneshwar, Bikaner, Chandigarh, Cuttack, Delhi, Goa, Guwahati, Hissar, Indore, Jalandhar, Jammu, Jamshedpur, Jhansi, Jodhpur, Kanpur, Kolkata, Kota, Mumbai, Patiala, Rajkot, Ranchi, Rourkela, Shimla, Sholapur, Srinagar, Surat , Udaipur. Hello Radio 106.4 in Chennai, Kovai, Madurai, Trichy, Nellai, Tuticorin and Pondicherry; 95 FM Tadka in Jaipur ; 94.3 Tomato FM in Kolhapur; 94.3 Radio Misty in Siliguri , Radio Misty Sikkim 95 FM in Gangtok; Rangila FM 104.8 in Raipur. Also available via 105.4 FM Radio Spice in Dubai, UAE;in the US via HumDesi Radio in Chicago, Los Angeles, New York City, San Jose and Washington DC, and East FM in Nairobi and Mombasa.
BBC World Service is an international multimedia broadcaster delivering 32 language and regional services. It uses multiple platforms to reach 188 million listeners globally, including shortwave, AM, FM, digital satellite and cable channels. It has around 2,000 partner radio stations which take BBC content, and numerous partnerships supplying content to mobile phones and other wireless handheld devices. Its news sites include audio and video content and offer opportunities to join the global debate. For more information, visit bbcworldservice.com. To find out more about the BBC‘s English-language offer and subscribe to a free e-newsletter, visit bbcworldservice.com/schedules.