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Prasar Bharati Inaugurates DRM in Kolkata

Aims to cater to the needs of the growing multilingual metropolis and reach larger audience

Jawhar Sircar, CEO of Prasar Bharati, stressed the importance of catering radio programs to a new generation of listeners at the inauguration of a 200 kW DRM digital transmitter in Kolkata.

The reasoning behind implementing Digital Radio Mondiale, according to Sircar, is for broadcasters to listen more to what radio listeners want in their programs, and to reach a larger audience.

All India Radio in Kolkata has five channels: Kolkata A, Kolkata B, Bividhbharati, Rainbow and Gold. One way Sircar says that the channels can address listener requirements is by switching Kolkata B to a different language program, like channels in Mumbai have done, to cater to the needs of the growing multilingual metropolis. Sircar also suggested that a 10 kW FM transmitter be added to the Kolkata A channel within a year.

Animesh Chakraborty, chief engineer of AIR, Kolkata, explained that the new 200-kW system has replaced an 88-year-old valve-based transmitter and that it will help ensure that Kolkata-A covers the whole of South Bengal, adjoining regions in the eastern part of India and part of Bangladesh.

Chakraborty also said the new digital system would work simultaneously with analog until all radio sets switched to digital over the next few years. In total, 33 digital sets will be set up in all the AIR radio stations, including Calcutta B and Siliguri, in phases, Chakraborty added.