Shujaat Bukhari

SRINAGAR: Union Minister for Information and Broadcasting Priyaranjan Dasmunsilaunched seven FM channels here on Wednesday.

The channels will be available in Rajouri, Poonch, Bhaderwah, Jammu, Kathua and Nowshera, besides Srinagar.

The Minister said new programmes targeting youth would be aired from these channels. He told a press conference that although there was a ban on recruitments in Prasar Bharti all over India, he would move a proposal before the Cabinet seeking an exemption for Jammu and Kashmir and the northeast.

Responding to a long pending demand from artists and media professionals from the State to shift the Kashir Channel headquarters from Delhi, he said "it will operate from Srinagar now."

But he did not give any timeframe for the shifting.

In fact, the former Prime Minister A.B. Vajpayee, announced the shifting to Srinagar at a press conference here on April 20, 2003 but the decision was never implemented.

Mr. Dasmunsi said henceforth 75 per cent of the commissioned programmes would be meant for residents within the State and 25 per cent for migrants living outside.