All India Radio's FM Gold Ludhiana will soon get the distinction of becoming country's first regional radio channel to function round-the-clock.
A declaration in this regard was made by union minister of information and broadcasting Manish Tewari on Sunday during the launch of programmes in the local language.
“We are working on the modalities and the infrastructure needed to make FM Gold Ludhiana a twenty-hour radio station that would telecast programmes in the Punjabi language. This will immensely benefit the development of the local language and raking up local issues,” Tewari said.
Currently the studio of the FM station is located at the BSNL building in Transport Nagar and a proposal has been sent to set up a full-fledged studio on the Punjab Agricultural University (PAU) campus, the union minister said.
“PAU has the infrastructure that can be used to develop the studio. Moreover, the studio would open job prospects to the communication department students. It's up to the PAU authorities to lap up our offer,” said Tewari.
On this occasion a cultural programme was organised at Pal Auditorium, Punjab Agricultural University. Pammi Bai, Amar Noori and Lachi Bawa-Glori Bawa enthralled the audience with their musical performances. Bhotu Shah tickled the funny bones with his hilarious presentation.
Later addressing the gathering, Tewari said freedom of thought and expression and the cultural ethos were always the first target of the fascist forces. The Ludhiana MP referred to the rise of fascist forces in the country.
He said, a place like Punjab, particularly Ludhiana that had produced great artistes like Sahir Ludhianwi should feel more concerned about rise of such forces whose first target will be free-thinking.
He appealed to people to ensure that such forces are not allowed to raise their head. He particularly gave the example of the Punjabi farmers in Gujarat who are being threatened and coerced to move out by the fascist forces who are in power there, despite various courts having ruled in their favour.
He also praised the efforts of noted cultural activist Jagdev Singh Jassowal, who, he said, had made immense contribution to the Punjabi culture and language.
Two hours' local programmes
The channel will broadcast a variety of programmes daily for two hours from 9am to 10am and 6pm to 7pm in the local language.
Regular features will include traffic and weather updates, tips for good living and popular music. In addition, information on health, agriculture, heritage, art, culture, literature, legal matters, trade and industry and sports will be provided to the listeners.
Director general , AIR, R Venkateswarlu, engineer-in-chief, RK Budhraja and ADG Vijay Laxmi Chhabra were also present on the occasion.