Jammu and Kashmir has got its first private FM radio channel. Big 92.7 FM, operated by Adlabs Films on Monday started its operation in the Srinagar. It was launched in Jammu on December 8. "We're here to be the trendsetters.
Everyone else is shying away from Kashmir. Nobody has tried to raise the infrastructure in J&K," Tarun Katial, Chief Operating Officer Adlabs Films, parent organisation of Big 92.7 FM said.
'Big' seems to have big plans. Soon after starting operations in Jammu, the company simultaneously started operations from the violence-infested Srinagar within 10 days. Terming Kashmiris as very very special people, Katial said Big 92.7 FM would bring an FM revolution in the state.
FM radios have already been a hit across India more so after the run away success of Radio Mirchi in New Delhi. In spite of ongoing insurgency Adlab Films is confident of overturning the fortunes of the entertainment industry in the state through their FM stations.
Terrorist groups forced the closure of cinema halls in Srinagar in 1990. Only one cinema hall is operational in Srinagar today. Satellite television channel operators have received threats from terrorist groups often, but satellite television remains one of the very few mediums of entertainment in Kashmir Valley.
'Suno. Sunao. Life Banao' (Hear. Be heard. Change your destiny) is the slogan with which Radio Jockeys sign in on the FM station. Manas Sharma, 24, a radio jockey (RJ) with the station says that Big 92.7 FM won't fish out only entertainment. "We would also counsel youth on careers, make them think big, dream big and achieve big," he said.
Sharma, a resident of Channi Himmat in Jammu is an MBA from Ramya College Bangalore. He underwent a 10-week training course at Ahmedabad sponsored by Big 92.7 FM. "Here I chiseled my modulation, demodulation and polished my accent," he said.
Apart from entertainment, Big 92.7 FM will broadcast devotional programmes, laughter shows and programmes on Bollywood gossips. Jagmeet Singh Bahri, Big 92.7 FM Cluster Head Jammu and Kashmir did not divulge details about the company's investment in the state but informed it was investing around Rs 400 crore throughout India only on transmission equipment, infrastructure and licensing.
"The network will be the largest ever spanning across 45 cities, 1000 towns and 50,000 villages," he said. The growth of more FM stations in Jammu may not take long with the University of Jammu hoping to launch its own FM station in the spring of 2007. JU sources say the work on the FM station is the campus's newly constructed auditorium is nearing completion.