The time for rejoicing has yet not come for the private FM players in Delhi. Even though Becil (Broadcast Engineering Consultants India Ltd.) has once again moved in as the integrator in the FM circuit, things are still to be confirmed on who would be putting up a common FM transmission infrastructure and when.
Becil, the research and consultancy body of AIR and Doordarshan engineers has already sent a memorandum of understanding (MoU) to the private FM players, to integrate their FM radio set-up in Delhi, Kolkata and Chennai. However, it would only be on August 1st that the final verdict on whether the players would sign on with Becil or not, would be reached.
Says KRP Verma, CMD Becil, "We have already sent the MoU and the invoice of advance payment to the broadcasters. We are in constant touch with them, but the final result would be out only on August 1st. The official date for starting the project is August 5th."
In case Becil is finally given the go ahead signal by the FM players on August 1st, it would still take around six months for it to integrate the radio set-up. Comments Nischint Chawla, COO, Radio Today, "The FM players have written to the I&B ministry with the request that they be granted permission to go for individual interim arrangements till finally an integrator can set-up the same for them. I have also made a formal presentation on the same to the ministry. But nothing is certain at the moment. Nonetheless, I am eagerly waiting for the result."
Mumbai FM licensees have already begun separate operations on an interim basis, as AIR could not offer its tower in the city for co-location. Now, with the August 29 deadline for FM players in the three metros just around the corner, lets see if the metros can expect to hear more on radio soon.