| 02 Oct 2023
Over thirty FM Radio channels in North-east, J&K: Jitendra Singh

NEW DELHI: The FM channels approved by the government earlier this week include 18 new FM radio channels in the eight North-Eastern States and 15 new FM radio channels in Jammu and Kashmir.

Development of North Eastern Region (DoNER) Minister Jitendra Singh called this as a New Year gift for the border states of Jammu & Kashmir and North-East.

Out of the 15 new FM channels to be launched in J & K, three each will be in Kathua and Bhaderwah. Of the remaining nine channels, three each will be in Kargil, Leh and Poonch.

In North-East, three channels each will be launched in the six towns of Haflong and Dhubri in Assam, Jowai in Meghalaya, Lung-lei in Mizoram, Mokukchung in Nagaland and Belonia in Tripura. This is in addition to the existing 12 FM channels which are already functional in the North-East.

Singh said the new channels are being launched with the special objective of extending the reach and impact of radio to the border areas, where other means of telecast or broadcast are not available. Radio is still the most easily available and convenient medium of broadcast even in such peripheral areas where television telecast is not accessible and the added advantage is that radio broadcast can be tuned even without electricity, he observed.

The government has a special consideration for these states, said Dr. Jitendra Singh and added that this is evident from the fact that the cut-off population required for introducing an FM channel has been drastically reduced in case of these border areas. While in Phase-II the cutoff population was minimum 3, 00,000, it is proposed to be 1, 00,000 in Phase III. In case of the 33 channels to be launched in border towns or cities of J&K and North-Eastern states, however, the population cut-off could be further reduced, he added.

Singh said as Minister for DoNER as well as an MP from Jammu & Kashmir, he has also urged upon the concerned Ministries to install these proposed channels with a higher frequency compared to the already existing channels so that they can better broadcast services in the border areas. However, he said these channels may not be permitted to put out their own news broadcasts and will take from All India Radio (Akashvani), he added.