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Friday, June 8, 2012

Memoir from Shri Prem Chandra Gupta



Some time in 1967,  I was assigned a  task to conduct Field Strength survey in Kashmir Valley. A question was raised in the Parliament “why people in Kashmir valley listen to AZAD KASHMIR RADIO (we used to call it as Raider’s Radio) and not Radio Kashmir Srinagar?”  Late Mr Pradhan had already proved by showing coverage charts of 20Kw MW Transmitter already operational in Srinagar that the Signal Strength was fairly high enough for the people to listen clearly even on a very cheap radio set. Still he had proposed a 100KW transmitter there to strengthen the signal. In the hills many areas come in the shadow where the field strength will be low. I toured the whole valley for one month staying at different places for one to three days and took the readings. In this region measurements were taken on short wave transmitters as well, since Raider’s Radio as well as Radio Kashmir transmitted on Short waves so that the terrain was covered adequately. I would start in the morning from 5 AM till late in the night up to 11 PM. Since I had worked in the Monitoring Service Shimla I could locate even the foreign Broadcasts, BBC, China, Russia and also our A.I.R.’s MW Transmitters which gave good signal in the Morning and evening. I took some Interviews of the local people ranging from IAS trainee, clerk, common people, including Chowkidar at the rest houses where I stayed, about their listening preference. Result in nutshell was they liked Programme from Srinagar named ZUNZ DAB (which made observations on different government department’s working). It was broadcast every evening for about 15 or 20 minutes. URDU SERVICE from A.I.R. which had started with film music and talks etc in between which was quite popular. Request programme of film songs for forces was keenly listened. I proved that in proper Srinagar the Signal strength was more than 1.5 milivolt which people ignored. In conclusion I proved that it was more of an Attitude problem and not a technical problem at all. Later on a 100 Kw MW transmitter was installed in Srinagar. During this period I met Justice Mr Mukerjee who Chairman of some Commission and happened to be there. We discussed about the reception conditions there. His observations covered BBC, Radio Peking, China and some Russian Broadcasts, which I had already noted. Foreign broadcasts were very clear on MW as well as on shortwave. He was a very keen observer and listener.
The atmosphere was charged towards the people who were on posting from main land. On one occasion Late Mr Gulam Qadir the driver from Radio Kashmir who was with me all through, saved my life by hiding me at the receiving center. One evening Mr O.P.Khushu who was ASE there was attacked with a knife when he was returning to his house in the city center. Mr Khushu retired finally as Engineer in chief DOOR Darshan. I will not forget late Mr Nand Lal Chawala the then Station Director Radio Kashmir who stopped me in the nick of time when I was to proceed out of Radio Station when he just drove in and asked me not to go, as there was big public demonstration going on in the area where I was going. I will always remember Late Mr Gulam Qadir, and what a coincidence I met his son who also worked as a driver in Radio Kashmir Srinagar when I went in 1997 with MELTRON Engineers for installation and inspection of Microwave Links to connect Studios and the 100 Kw MW Transmitter, installed decades earlier. When I recalled about Sr Mr Qadir the junior was very much moved.

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