Monday, October 25, 2021

Regional

How All India Radio Amritsar is being blocked by Shimla

PUNJAB NEWS EXPRESS | September 17, 2021 11:41 AM

By Harjap Singh Aujla
FM radio frequencies of India and Pakistan do not clash with each other. We have frequent clashes between our troops on the line of control in Jammu and Kashmir, but as far as radio frequencies are concerned, we have never clashed with each other. In the past, our shortwave frequencies never had a dispute. Even our medium-wave radio frequencies have not been overlapping with each other. But as far as the domestic FM radio frequencies are concerned, India is a poor planner.

As crow flies, the distance between Punjab’s two cities of Ludhiana and Patiala is about eighty kilometers. The broadcasting towers in both these cities are identical standing at 100 meters each. Both having flat plain terrains, the range of their FM transmitters is approximately 50 kilometers. The signals of FM transmitters in both cities overlap each other by at least ten kilometers. That can be understood, but the allocation of adjacent frequencies does not make sense at all. All India Radio Patiala broadcasts on 100.2 MHz and All India Radio Ludhiana transmits to 100.1 MHz. This overlap of frequencies is totally unpardonable.

There is another overlap of frequencies of India’s most powerful FM stations, which needs to be addressed immediately. All India Radio Amritsar is basically an External Service of India station, which carries the programming of “Neighborhood Service 1” (in particular the Urdu Service of All India Radio, the Saraiki Service of All India Radio and the Des Punjab Service of All India Radio). Its frequency is 103.6 MHz. It is located about two hundred and fifty kilometers from Shimla. Being a hill area high altitude station, the range of All India Radio Shimla is not less than 180 kilometers. The 300 meter high tower of All India Radio Amritsar on completion will command a range of at least 100 kilometers. This would mean that both All India Radio Shimla broadcasting on 103.7 MHz and All India Radio Amritsar broadcasting on 103.6 Mhz will overlap each other by at least 30 kilometers. In addition All India Radio Dharamshala with a range of 150 kilometers is broadcasting on 103.4 MHz. This clustering of three long range frequencies so close to each is a technical blunder. This discrepancy has to be addressed very soon. I am proposing that the first frequency of All India Radio Amritsar should be changed from 103.6 to either 104 or any other frequency above 104 MHz to 104.6 MHz. Similarly the second and third frequency allocated to Amritsar should be in the 105 to 105.6 MHz range. This needs to be done immediately. Both All India Radio Shimla and All India Radio Dharamshala, being high altitude hill top radio stations can co-exist without overlapping signals, their frequency separation seems to be within acceptable limits. 100.1 MHz is a very commonly used frequency in India. It is generally used for low powered transmissions. All India Radio Ludhiana should not have this frequency in any case. Akashvani Patiala is in a good shape at 100.2 MHz.

harjapaujla@gmail.com

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