After the introduction of satellite phones, now the state government is exploring the possibility of reaching out to fishermen through the medium wave transmission of the All India Radio.
The state disaster management authority in association with the Coast Guard and AIR conducted a feasibility survey in the sea to check whether the medium wave signal of AIR is available up to 200 nautical miles in the sea from the coastline.
“Since the survey found the medium wave transmission is available in the sea, the state government has sought the Centre’s permission to use the facility for reaching out to fishermen in order to provide regular update meant for fishermen, P H Kurian, former additional chief secretary (Revenue), told Express.
“However, the Centre is yet to respond to the request of the state,” he said.
According to a senior officer in the AIR, the AIR has four medium wave transmission centres in Thiruvananthapuram (20 kw), Alappuzha (200 kw), Thrissur (100 kw) and Kozhikode (100 kw) in the state apart from a transmission centre at Lakshadweep (10 kw). These medium wave transmission centres can together cover the entire coastline and a distance up to 200 nautical miles in the sea from the coastline in radial distance.
The AIR has also FM transmission centres at Kannur, Kozhikode, Manjeri, Devikulam, Kochi (two stations) Thiruvananthapuram apart from 17 private FM stations in the state.
While comparing with the medium wave transmission centres, the reach of the FM stations is limited to 60 to 70 km in normal circumstances.
Whereas, the medium wave signals can travel long distance in the sea even two-fold or three-fold, when compared to land, without any disturbance.
In the normal circumstances, the AM stations which begin transmission by 5.50 am will continue till 11.10 pm. However, during the August flood, the AIR conducted 24-hour transmission to provide information to the people in the flood-affected areas.
Earlier, the state government had distributed navigation gadget Navic and satellite phones to fishermen in order to better equip them at sea.
Selected 1,000 fishermen who venture into sea beyond 36 nautical miles would be given the sat phones in the first phase, in association with BSNL which had agreed to provide the phones at a rate of Rs 94,261 per piece. (www.newindianexpress.com)