The government has given the private FM radio players in the metro cities of Delhi, Chennai and Kolkata time till August 29, 2002, to pay their license fee, even if All India Radio (AIR) hands over its towers for co-locating their transmitters immediately.
Announcing the extension, Information and Broadcasting minister Sushma Swaraj had said that four months was the time granted to AIR to get their towers ready to accommodate the transmitters of the private operators. Another four months was the time given to operators to get supporting infrastructure ready.
In the interest of spectrum efficiency, the operators in the metro cities are required to co-locate their transmitters. With some FM Radio slot bidders going to courts, there was delay in formation of the consortium and hence the deadline for payment of license fee and commencement of service was extended for the three cities.
In the case of Mumbai, the December 29 deadline was only extended for four months as the mandated co-location of transmitters has been temporarily laid aside.