The citizen band radio is still essential as it was evident during the Uttarakhand deluge in June.
During the Uttarakhand tragedy, police and National Disaster Response Force officials faced a difficult time trying to establish contact with the people as the phone networks were all jammed.
In times of emergencies, when technology fails and communication is often compromised, a citizen band (CB) radio could be very useful.
CB radio, as it is known, is a licence-free band used within a short distance unlike the ham radio for which the operator needs to acquire a licence from the wireless planning and coordination wing of the ministry of communications.
A Patna Citizen Band Radio festival would be held at Shri Krishna Science Centre on September 14 and 15 to raise awareness on this mode of communication.
The Society of Radio Amateurs and Shri Krishna Science Centre would organise the event. While the inaugural programme would be held at SK Science Centre, the concluding day’s programme would be organised at the society’s office.
“Society of Radio Amateurs is trying to promote the citizen band radio in Patna. By organising the festival, it wants to achieve its goal of creating a pool of CB radio operators in the city. At present, there are 15 such operators against eight ham operators in the city,” said Pranav Shahi, the president of Society of Radio Amateurs.
Sanjeev Gautam, the secretary of the society, said: “The best part of CB radio is that one can communicate with a person 1-2km away. This festival is a first-of-its kind in the country. We would provide free training to people in this festival to help them use the technology and benefit.
Gautam added: “As Bihar falls in a high seismic zone, this technology can come in handy during disasters. We are approaching different wings of the state government, including the disaster management department, to use the facility.”
The officials would also provide wireless sets at the event. “A pair of wireless sets cost Rs 20,000. Wireless sets of various types would be available between Rs 20,000 and Rs 60,000,” said Rakesh Mishra, sales and business development director, President Electronics India Pvt. Ltd, a CB radio set manufacturing firm.