Kolkata: The city of joy ‘Kolkata’ will again traverse on the path of nostalgic alleys with the new avatar of ‘Kolkata-A’ on Tuesday. Almost after a year off air radio transmission on 657 Kilo Hertz will play in homes with crystal clarity.
A brand new digital transmitter will be commissioned by Prasar Bharati CEO Jawahar Sircar on September 8, making the channel digital-ready.
Tuning in to 576KHz to listen to Pratyahiki followed by Bengali news and Rabindrasangeet while carrying on with the morning’s chores was a practice in nearly every household in the city, districts and neighbouring states. Never mind that audio quality deteriorated over time, programmes remained popular for decades before breakfast programmes on television weaned away listeners in the 1990s.
However, it was not television, but the arrival of FM radio with its crystal clear reception that exposed Kolkata A’s poor transmission.
“The 2×100 KW medium wave transmitter with valves was in extremely poor shape. When the valves developed a snag, they could not be replaced because the rest of the market had moved on to digital equipment,” AIR Kolkata deputy director general Swapna Mondal explained.
Sircar, who is keen on AIR’s makeover since he took over as Prasar Bharati chief, is driving the change. Last Chirstmas, he had switched on Vividh Bharati’s FM transmission. The modernization of the Kolkata A transmitter is also his initiative. “This Mahalaya, listeners can tune into Mahisasur Mardini and enjoy Birendra Krishna Bhadra’s soulful rendition afresh. The quality of transmission will make a big difference,” Mondal said.
“The whole of south Bengal and nearly a quarter of Malda will be able to listen to the new transmission. Once the transmitter at Siliguri is changed, the entire state can tune in to Kolkata A on the same wavelength. Modernization of Kolkata B transmitter is already underway,” she added.