Posts vacant, Rajasthan’s first digital FM station yet to tune in to border villages
A newly installed hi-frequency transmitter, which can negate the border villages’ dependency on Pakistan radio stations, is yet to start functioning because posts have not been filled up.Updated: Jul 12, 2017 20:17 IST
A newly installed hi-frequency transmitter, which can negate the border villages’ dependency on Pakistan radio stations, is yet to start functioning because posts have not been filled up.
The country’s third and Rajasthan’s first 20-kilowatt digital FM (frequency modulation) radio station was set up in March.
The transmitter – installed on a 300-metre-high hill about 55km from Barmer -- is capable of sending signals up to 150km. It can make Indian radio programmes accessible to border areas and some zones in Pakistan, besides airing them in Jaisalmer, Jalore and Jodhpur.
“Testing of the transmitter has been carried out, but it is yet to function. The ministry of information and broadcasting sanctioned six posts for this FM station, but till date not a single post has been filled,” station incharge GS Batham said.
A medium-wave transmitter, earlier installed at Chohtan in Barmer district, failed to send signals to places bordering Pakistan due to low network. Villagers in these areas listen to programmes, such as Kashmir Update, Aaina and Jagta Pakistan, broadcast by stations in the neighbouring country.
“The FM station will be handed over to the Akashwani Kendra at Barmer for its operation. But the handover is stuck as Akashwani Kendra is also reeling under staff crunch,” Batham said. “Of the sanctioned 24 posts, Barmer Akashwani Kendra has only eight posts.”
Apart from entertainment, the FM station will also relay programmes on agriculture, women, youth, child, culture and tradition.
“Currently there is no Indian network available in bordering villages. Pakistani network is easily available. This situation is prevailing for the past two-three decades,” said Kachra Khan of Gagriya village who is a radio listener.
“When we heard last year that installation work of FM station started and we would soon be able to listen Indian programmes, we were very happy. But for the past six months we are waiting for it.”
Khan said the government should take note of the problem and make the FM station functional at the earliest.