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90.4 MHz to go on air again

- Ravenshaw to fine-tune its radio station, applies for fresh licence

Bhubaneswar, Aug. 17: Authorities of Ravenshaw University, Cuttack, have applied for a wireless operating licence to revive Ravenshaw Radio 90.4 MHz. The state’s first campus community radio station, launched in April last year, had been closed down by the Union ministry of information after “illegally” operating for eight months without a valid licence.

“We have paid a penalty amount of Rs 1.64 lakh to the ministry and have applied for a fresh licence by paying close to Rs 20,000. Our faculty members, who are in charge of the radio service, are pursuing the matter. I am hopeful that our programmes will go on air very soon,” said university vice-chancellor, B.C. Tripathy.

His predecessor Devdas Chhotray had launched Ravenshaw Radio at an investment of Rs 30 lakh.

“I joined here last November and had gone to Delhi for a few days. When I returned, I was told that the transmission had been suspended at the direction of the ministry, which does not allow a radio station to operate without licence,” Tripathy said.

University sources said they had obtained permission to start the radio station, but were not aware of the mandatory licensing provision of the ministry.

“When we learnt about it, we immediately applied for licence. It has been over six months now. The ministry should give us permission without any further delay,” said officials associated with Ravenshaw Radio, adding that the varsity had inked a grant of permission agreement with the ministry to run the radio service for five years.

Programmes, though, are being recorded regularly. “Ravenshaw Radio has been a launch pad for many talented singers and radio jockeys. We hope it is revived soon,” said a student.

Authorities, too, are planning to improve the infrastructure of the radio station, which is in a sorry state.

“The transmitter has been dumped inside the toilet and termites have ravaged the wooden floors, acoustic walls and other furniture. The air conditioners are not in a working condition either. A lot needs to be done,” said an official.

During the active months of operation, the radio channel used to broadcast musical programmes, interactive phone-in sessions, interviews and live commentary of religious festivals and cricket matches for two hours, twice a day.