NEW DELHI: The ministry of Information and Broadcasting has initiated the process of e-auction of 266 FM Radio channels in 92 cities across the country as a part of private FM Phase III auction. It also includes five cities of Tamil Nadu.
The second batch consists of 227 channels in 69 new cities besides 39 channels in 23 existing cities where private FM channels are already operational.
Out of 69 new cities taken up for auction in the second batch, 20 cities with 80 channels are having population of 3-10 lakh, 38 cities with 114 channels are having population of 1-3 lakh whereas 11 cities in border areas of Jammu & Kashmir and North Eastern states with population upto one lakh having 33 channels have also been included.
In Tamil Nadu, the cities where FM slots will be auctioned includes Vellore, Erode, Salem, Tiruchy, Tirunelveli, and Tuticorin. Puducherry and Alappuzha in Kerala will also benefit.
In Karnataka, cities for auction includes Belgaum, Bellary, Devengeri, Gulbarga, Hubli-Dharwad, Mangaluru, Mysuru, while in Andhra Pradesh, Kakinada, Kurnool, Nellore, Rajahmundry, and Tirupati. In Telangana, it would be Warangal.
Amongst the 266 channels on offer, special incentives are being provided to 36 channels in 14 cities in J&K and North Eastern states. “By this, the FM Phase III policy exudes the government’s thrust for concerted development of the North Eastern states and J&K. It provides much needed support to the FM radio broadcasting services in cities of North Eastern part of India as in the cities of Jammu & Kashmir and Island territories, with provision of annual fee of the channels in these areas at half the rates for first three years, besides provision of Prasar Bharati Infrastructure at half the lease rentals,” the government statement said.