In view of the largescale expansion of FM radio in the second phase, the government has proposed to set up 31 radio towers in an equal number of cities spread across 15 states, I&B Minister Priya Ranjan Dasmunsi declared in the Rajya Sabha on February 27.
Of the 31 radio towers, five will be situated in Andhra Pradesh (Kakinada, Hyderabad, Vijayawada of 10 kw each; Karimnagar, 5 kw; and Srikakular, 1 kw), four in Maharashtra (Aurangabad, Amravati, Sholapur of 10 kw each; and Oros, 5 kw), three each in Uttar Pradesh (Gorakhpur, Kanpur, Vararnasi of 10 kw each) and Uttaranchal (Bageshwar, 5 kw; and Gairsen, New Tehri of 1 kw each), two each in West Bengal (Darjeeling, Coochbihar of 10 kw each), Tripura (Agartala, 10 kw; and Longtharai, 5 kw), Tamil Nadu (Madurai, Tirunelvelli of 10 kw each), Karnataka (Gulbarga, Bellary of 10 kw each), and Rajasthan (Udaipur, Bikaner of 10 kw each), and one each in Gujarat (Junagarh, 10 kw), Haryana (Rohtak, 10 kw), Madhya Pradesh (Ujjain, 5 kw), Manipur (Imphal, 10 kw), Orissa (Rairangpur, 1 kw), and Punjab (Jallandhar, 10 kw).
“In some of the cities where Doordarshan towers exist, radio towers will not be set up as FM radio channels/additional channels are proposed to be set up on these towers. Towers will set up subject to approval of the schemes, availability of funds and the necessity of putting up a new tower. In upgradation/replacement schemes, where FM transmitter is replaced, no new tower is required,” Dasmunsi added.
The bidding of frequencies for Phase II of FM radio broadcasting was conducted between January 6, 2006 and February 3, 2006. Out of the 337 channels across 91 cities in the country up for bidding, successful bidding was carried out for 280 channels.
The successful bidders are required to complete various formalities within nine months and sign the Grant of Permission agreement (GOPA) with the Government of India. The FM stations have to be operationalised within 12 months from the date of signing of agreement.