Wednesday, January 31, 2018

All India Radio Jammu Celebrates 70 Years

All India Radio Jammu broadcast
Just a few weeks ago, All India Radio at Jammu on the edge of the high Himalayas in India celebrated its 70th anniversary. It was seventy years ago, on December 1, 1947, that the first radio station in Jammu was inaugurated by His Excellency Maharajah Sir Hari Singh, the last hereditary ruler of independent Jammu & Kashmir. Jammu is the name of a city, a princedom, a state division, and a part of the Indian state of Jammu and Kashmir. The area was first populated by settlers from the ancient Indus Valley Harappan civilization who migrated along the Indus River up into the five rivers of the Punjab and into the Jammu and Kashmir region.

As a city, Jammu was established by Rajah Jambu Lochan around the year 1400 BC. As time went by, the city grew into a territory, which in turn became a princedom. Some two thousand years later, the area was ruled from Afghanistan. Then in 1846, the Jammu Prince Gulab Singh extended his rule over all of the Kashmir vale, and the entire territory became a princedom, Jammu & Kashmir. When the British stepped in, they retained Jammu & Kashmir as a combined princely state.  At the time of partition between India and Pakistan in 1947, Jammu & Kashmir became a state of contention between the two powers.  Since then, there have been two wars and many skirmishes over the Jammu and Kashmir issue.  

The city of Jammu is 370 miles north of Delhi; it has a population of half a million; and it is the winter capital for the state of Jammu and Kashmir, due to the heavy snows further north in Srinagar, the summer capital.  Tourism is a major industry in Jammu, due mainly to the multitudes of pilgrims who surge into the region from other areas of India. It was on December 1, 1947, three and a half months after partition between India and Pakistan, that a rather elementary radio station was inaugurated in Jammu city.  The 1 kW medium wave station was housed in three classrooms at the government operated Ranbir High School, and for the benefit of local listeners, community receivers were installed at 56 public locations throughout the city, suburbs and nearby villages.

Two years later (1949), Radio Jammu was listed with two outlets on shortwave, in the 4 MHz and 6 MHz bands, apparently at a subsequent location.  Then five years later, in December 1954, Radio Jammu (along with Radio Kashmir in Srinagar) was handed over to the Indian government and it joined the government radio network AIR, All India Radio. The World Radio TV Handbook lists AIR Radio Jammu with 250 watts on 990 kHz, beginning in their 1954 issue. The power output on mediumwave was subsequently increased to 5 kW, and in the early 1970s, a 50 kW medium wave transmitter was installed.

A 2 kW shortwave station is first listed in the WRTVHB in 1962, and depending on propagation conditions, any of four shortwave channels were in use: 3345 4950 5960 & 7160 kHz.  It appears that an additional 1 kW shortwave transmitter was installed some ten years later, and apparently there were times when both of the low powered shortwave units were on the air in parallel.

In the early 1990s, the low powered shortwave outlets were dropped due to equipment deterioration.  However, soon afterwards, All India Radio announced plans for the installation of a 50 kW shortwave station in Jammu. Installation of the new 50 kW BEL shortwave transmitter began in mid 2000, though the unit was not taken into regular service for another two and a half years.  The official date for the inauguration of this new 50 kW unit for AIR Radio Jammu was December 11, 2002.  Just two shortwave channels have been in use, 4830 kHz & 5965 kHz. 

However, transmitter problems began half a dozen years later, and shortwave usage became quite irregular. Beginning three years ago, the WRTVHB no longer listed Jammu on shortwave.
 Current listings for All India Radio Jammu show:
  DRM 300 kW 999 kHz
  FM 3 kW Jammu A on 100.3 MHZ & 10 kW Jammu B on 104.5 MHz

AIR Radio Jammu, along with so many other areas in India, is now moving rapidly towards complete national radio coverage in the digital DRM mode.   
(AWR Wavescan 465)