The recent fuel price hike has been dominating all conversation since the hike was announced. TV channels, newspapers, Internet forums have been full of news and views regarding the hike. There have been strong reactions against it in the form of bandhs in some states. Now FM stations, too, have joined the fray to carry the discussions further.
Fever FM has commenced a new contest, ‘Tanki Full’, from June 2, wherein the station has invited listeners to reply to questions related to the rising prices of petrol over the years, alternative fuel options, car-pooling and so on. The winners would get a tank full of petrol for their vehicles as a prize. From petrol pump attendants to car-owners, the station managed to get everyone to air their views on the Government’s decision to increase fuel prices, including the views of Ravi Shinde, President of Mumbai Petrol Dealers Association.
After its launch in Mumbai, Red FM’s ‘Red Mike’ was launched in Kolkata on June 9. The special initiative allows people to raise any issue that concerns them. Commenting on Red FM’s response to the fuel price hike, its National Marketing Head Anuj Singh said, “One of the major topics raised by the people of Kolkata on the first day of the launch of Red Mike was the issue of the rising fuel prices. This issue was ‘bajaaoed’ throughout the day on the station and listeners were invited to participate in the on-air discussions.”
My FM’s Indore station, too, created a forum for listeners to air their views on the fuel price hike. The station also compared the petrol prices in India vis-à-vis across the world. According to My FM officials, the lines were flooded with calls from listeners, who wanted to vent their anger over the fuel price hike.
Raj Gopal Iyer, Station Head-West, Radio One, said, “The fuel price hike has affected every single person in the country in some way or the other. Radio One does not have any specific programme dedicated to this change, however, it has been discussed with our callers and guests and also by our RJs, who sought people’s take on the issue in our ‘Drive’ shows, ‘Good Morning Mumbai’, and so on.”
Nisha Narayanan, Project Head, S FM, felt that the fuel price hike would affect the small towns the most, particularly because faced by higher power shortages, many of them used diesel generators for farming activities. Rise in prices of diesel would affect their cost of operations even further.
Sun FM, in its own way, sought to make the lives of its listeners a little easier. The FM station has been planning a host of activities like gifting petrol vouchers or fuel bags, airing car pooling messages, suggesting more usage of public transport, across their stations.