The FM radio stations set up for the first time on the two mountainous routes of the 45-day long Amarnath pilgrimage are proving very useful for the pilgrims who receive on their mobile phones live updates of the weather, security and condition of the trek paths.
These FM radio transmitters have been set up by the union ministries of information & broadcasting and culture in collaboration with the Shri Amarnath Shrine Board (SASB) at Baltal and Pahalgam base camps.
These stations have facilitated quick tracing and in re-uniting of pilgrims lost during the strenuous trek, said Nagendra Singh Jamwal, director of the Baltal base camp. Weather-related transmissions are useful for the pilgrims, he added.
Deputy Director General of AIR’s Radio Kashmir, K Murugan, said that the ministry of I&B on the request of ministry of culture has set up the FM Radio Transmitter on 103.7 MHZ frequency at Baltal for ‘AmarnathYatra’ programme.
A makeshift studio facility has been set up at Baltal base camp where a program executive is deployed. The “Amarnath Yatra” program is being generated from Baltal base camp and the Pahalgam transmitter is also tuned to Baltal.
The crowd management, weather, health and other alerts are being transmitted by these stations for the pilgrims. Devotional music for transmission has been provided by the Ministry of Culture, he said.
Murugan said that the “Amarnath Yatra” program is made available on Delhi AIR service through dedicated leased line and is also available through DTH service all over the country. People can receive the program through DD free dish service.
Ministry of Culture has curated and created high quality devotional content for the pilgrimage, which includes Mantras, Shlokas and Bhajans with contextual meaning on Shiva, Parvati and Ganesh. Leading music directors and singers were roped in for this purpose. Archival content has been taken from National Cultural Audiovisual Archives, under the Indira Gandhi National Centre for the Arts.
This music is transmitted from 7 AM to 11 PM and can be accessed by pilgrims even on basic mobile models. The devotional content is also being played by all the ‘Langars’ (free eateries) set up by various religious organisations and NGOs on the two trek routes.