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AIR launches radio station in border belt 

Amritsar, September 24

A 20-kW FM transmitter of the All India Radio (AIR) at Gharinda near here was formally made operational by Union Minister of State for Social Justice and Empowerment Vijay Kumar Sampla on Monday.

Now, the residents of Pakistan’s Punjab in Sheikhupura, Muridkem Kasur, Nanakana Sahib and Gujranwala will be able to hear the Indian audio broadcast transmitted from just 5 km away from the Indo-Pak border. 

The transmitter that will be used for both domestic and external broadcast is of immense strategic importance as programmes radiated from the transmitter can be heard clearly at a radius of 90 km that includes up to 50 km inside Pakistan.

Christened as Des Punjab on 103.6 Mhz, the programmes would focus on the Punjabi culture and heritage between the two halves of Punjab.

The transmitter will relay programmes for 18 hours between 6 am and 12 pm.

The composition of programmes include Punjabi service through FM Rainbow Channel of the AIR, Jalandhar, Saraiki programmes and Urdu service of the External Services Division of the AIR too would be transmitted through here.

Sampla said the content of the channel would also go a long way in bridging people-to-people contact among the Punjabi-speaking people of the two countries, besides countering the malicious anti-India propaganda by the radio channels of Pakistan.

Dr Surya Prakash, Chairman, Prasar Bharati, said as a public service broadcaster, Prasar Bharati and its two constituents — All India Radio and Doordarshan — were committed to playing a catalytic role in preserving the country’s cultural heritage and integrity.

Director General, AIR, Fayyaz Sheheryar, said this FM transmitter would ensure stereo quality listening of radio programmes in the region. He also shared a roadmap of technological innovation and modernisation efforts by the AIR in adopting non-conventional broadcast platforms linked to social media.

Rajya Sabha MP Shwait Malik said it was a long-pending project and he had raised the issue in Parliament in November 2016.

Lok Sabha MP Gurjeet Singh Aujla expressed the hope that soon the capacity of the transmitter would be further enhanced to utilise its full potential to the locals as well as Punjabi and Saraiki-speaking people across the border..

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