All India Radio may finally come to the rescue of crisis – ridden private FM radio players in Delhi, Kolkatta and Chennai, who find themselves in the lurch following their failure to arrange for transmission infrastructure in there metros with the August 29 deadline just round the corner.
Private FM operators are at cross roads after their deal with Media cast an Indian subsidiary of French transmission infrastructure company. FDF to put up a common FM transmission infrastructure fell through barely two months before their deadline to start their operations.
Prasar Bharati CEO and Director General, All India Radio, K.S. Sarma told exchange4media that private FM players now want AIR to do the job of a system integrator for their after approved integrator. Media cast has proved to be a non-starter. AIR had offered its towers in the three metros to co-locate the private transmitters. Now Broadcast Engineers Consultant India Limited, a research and consultancy body of AIR and Doordarshan engineers is likely to take up the job of infrastructure integrator for FM Radio player. Says Sarma, "We might take up the job for private FM players to speed up the infrastructure so that their operations are not delayed for lone".
Meanwhile some private operators have sought I&B Ministry's nod to make individual interim transmission arrangements to speed up the operations. Private FM players in Mumbai were permitted to have an interim transmission arrangement as AIR Mumbai did not have enough capacity for co-location of private transmitters. The harried FM players have also knocked at the doors of the Ministry, seeking time beyond August 29 deadline for paying the license fee of Rs. 7 crore.
With private FM players hitting these road blocks, Sarma says that it may not be before six months before the radio listeners are able to tune into private FM stations in Delhi, Kolkatta and Chennai.