Eleven All India Radio stations and 164 private FM radio stations are expected to go on-air by the end of this year. Priya Ranjan Dasmunsi, Union Minister of Information & Broadcasting and Parliamentary Affairs, provided the information in writing to a question in the Lok Sabha on August 17.
Of the 164 private FM radio stations, 27 would be in Maharashtra, 17 in Kerala, 14 in Tamil Nadu, 12 in Rajasthan, 10 each in Gujarat and Uttar Pradesh, nine each in Andhra Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh, eight each in Karnataka and West Bengal, seven each in Punjab and Jharkhand, six in Chattisgarh, three each in Himachal Pradesh, Sikkim and Pondicherry, two each in Orissa, Meghalaya and Assam, and one each in Arunachal Pradesh, Mizoram, Tripura, Bihar, and Daman and Diu.
A new policy of expansion of FM broadcasting through private operators was notified in July 2005. Subsequently 337 channels, including 217 channels of class-C and class-D cities, were put on bid. Out of these 217 channels, agreements were signed with successful bidders for 139 channels in 57 cities. For the remaining 78 vacant channels of class-C and class-D, pre-qualification bids have been invited from private companies through tender notification dated June 8, 2007.