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regular-article-logo Saturday, 20 April 2024

Prime Minister Narendra Modi to lay foundation stone for better FM radio in Kalimpong

A digital FM transmitter, once set up, will ensure more clarity and reach for FM radio services in the town

Vivek Chhetri Darjeeling Published 18.01.24, 05:27 AM
Kalimpong town.

Kalimpong town. File picture

Prime Minister Narendra Modi will lay the foundation stone for setting up a digital FM transmitter in Kalimpong virtually on Friday, a development many BJP leaders are using to highlight the Centre’s concern towards Nepali-speaking Indian Gorkhas.

Land, identity and language are major issues during polls in the region. A digital FM transmitter, once set up, will ensure more clarity and reach for FM radio services in Kalimpong.

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“I am happy to share that on the 19th of Jan, 2024 Hon'ble Prime Minister Sh. Narendra Modi ji will be laying the foundation stone for the establishment of a Digital FM Transmitter in Kalimpong,” said, Raju Bista, the BJP MP from Darjeeling, in a written statement.

The digital FM transmitter will be installed in Kalimpong at an estimated cost of Rs 3.36 crore under the central Broadcasting Infrastructure and Network Development (BIND) scheme.

“My greater vision is to ensure the development of a DD Gorkha Channel, and for this I will need all of your help and support. Though good things take time, with my efforts and your support, I know we can achieve it,” Bista added.

The BJP MP said he had requested Union information and broadcasting minister Anurag Thakur for the upgrade of the FM broadcasting station in Kalimpong.

Bista listed the Centre's initiatives on All India Radio (AIR) in the region.

"AIR Kurseong has been upgraded as the ‘National Hub for Nepali news bulletin and Programmes in India’ since December 2022. The Nepali news bulletin and programmes produced at Akashvani Kurseong are now being heard across the globe through the News on AIR app,” said Bista, adding around 30-odd youths were engaged in the news unit of Kurseong.

“A music-based programme in Nepali language titled Saptarangi is being broadcast on DD Bangla since August 2022 and has become hugely popular. All the local music/dance groups in our Darjeeling hills, the Terai and the Dooars region are getting a chance to show their talent,” said Bista, who added that the 10 kW FM transmitter in Darjeeling relayed Nepali programmes of the Kurseong radio station.

Opposition leaders asked the BJP MP about the party's 2019 poll promises. “I am not aware of the announcement made by Raju ji, and hence won't like to comment immediately. However, I'd like to remind our BJP MP that instead of talking about radio stations, he should focus on getting tribal status to 11 communities and granting a permanent political solution to his voters promised before the 2019 Lok Sabha polls and not seek an escape route,” said a Bharatiya Gorkha Prajatantrik Morcha leader.

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