The government will soon conduct an e-auction of 808 FM radio stations across 284 cities including Belagavi to further increase the footprint of radio communication, Information and Broadcasting under FM Radio Phase-III policy.
Addressing the Regional Community Radio Sammelan (North) here, Thakur said the government has also eased the processes for getting a license to operate radio stations, particularly community radio, by reducing the number of compliances.
He said India currently has 388 FM radio stations in 113 cities across 26 states and five Union Territories. “Government is now planning a third batch of e-auction of 808 channels across 284 cities soon to further expand radio services,” Thakur said.
The minister said the government is setting up radio towers in remote areas to further improve coverage.
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The government plans to expand the FM network in Tier-II and Tier-III cities with a focus on aspirational and Left Wing Extremism (LWE) affected districts.
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The Union Ministry of Information and Broadcasting in 2016 had issued a notification inviting applications for e-auction of 266 FM radio channels in 92 cities, including Belagavi, in the second batch of FM Phase III programme. The auction was held for four channels proposed for Belagavi, which has been listed under the C category (having a population of 3 lakh to 10 lakh) with a reserve price of Rs. 7.02 crore. The frequencies identified for selection (MHz) of channels are 92.1, 92.9, 93.7, 94.5, 104.2 and 105. but No bids were recieved.
At present no private FM Radio channel is operating in the city of Belagavi (Belgaum) Karnataka. However, four Private FM Radio channels are proposed to be auctioned in Belagavi in the upcoming batch of e-auction, said Ministry of Information and Broadcasting in a RTI reply filed by us.