The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Cup update for Shatabdi, Rajdhani passengers

New Delhi, Feb. 8: In what will be a first, passengers on the elite Rajdhani Express and Shatabdi Express trains that ply from the capital and metro cities will get to hear live radio commentaries of the World Cup cricket matches. The Railway Board is set to approve Prasar Bharati’s proposal to take radio to passengers on these trains.

This will also signal the beginning of radio broadcasts in trains. So far, passengers on the Rajdhani Expresses were treated only to recorded radio news and programmes.

Radio transmission in trains, however, will raise questions on whether they are justified in the absence of personalised listening devices such has headphones (as in many international airlines). Rajdhani and Shatabdi Expresses have public address systems through which the radio broadcasts will be heard. Not all passengers would be wanting to listen to cricket commentaries/other programmes.

Also, the broadcasts will not offer passengers channels of their choice. Some may also resent being disturbed by the noise. In some countries, radio and television signals are available in long-distance trains but only in a separate coach to which passengers can go.

It is not known if these considerations are being kept in mind by the Railway Board. Prasar Bharati officials, talking to counterparts in the Railway Board for the last two days, were confident that their proposal would go through.

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