ITANAGAR, 8 Jan: The Cultural and Literary Society of Mishmi (CALSOM) has raised objection to the proposed merger of the All India Radio (AIR) Tezu with AIR Dibrugarh, and appealed to union Information & Broadcasting Minister Anurag Thakur to upgrade/install a new and high quality 10 kw FM transmitter at AIR Tezu in Arunachal Pradesh.
In a memorandum to the union minister, the CALSOM said that AIR Tezu was established on 15 August, 1967, “and since then has been relentlessly disseminating information, knowledge and entertainment to the public of Lohit, Dibang Valley, Lower Dibang Valley, Anjaw and Namsai districts for the past 55 years.”
It said that the second oldest radio station of the state has been functioning with a 10 kw MW transmitter installed in 1988, which has outlived its utility. Owing to the poor condition of the transmitter, the people living in the far-flung border areas are unable to listen to the programmes broadcast by AIR Tezu.
Considering the poor reception quality of the old 10 kw MW transmitter, several representations were earlier submitted by the Lohit DC, PRI members, GBs and CBOs to New Delhi-based AIR directorate for replacement of the old transmitter with a new 10 kw FM transmitter, but to no avail, it said.
“It is disheartening to know that the authorities concerned of the Prasar Bharati have of late decided to merge AIR Tezu with AIR Dibrugarh under cluster head. The proposed merger would entail the withdrawal of DDO power from the AIR Tezu. The administrative staffs of the AIR Tezu would be downsized with the programme executive and the accountant performing their respective duties from distant AIR Dibrugarh. The AIR Tezu would function with a few clerical staffers, which is tantamount to relegating the glory and status of AIR Tezu. The proposed merger would inevitably hamper its smooth functioning and prove to be a major setback for AIR Tezu,” it said.
“It is very unfortunate that, instead of upgrading the infrastructure/ transmission and posting a station director at the second oldest radio station located in the eastern most part of the state, sharing it’s international border with a belligerent neighbour, the authorities concerned are deciding to merge AIR Tezu with AIR Dibrugarh,” the CALSOM said.
It further stated that, “despite the advancement of information technology and advent of modern technologies in the electronic media, the relevance of the radio still exists, as people residing in the border states still rely on the radio for information and entertainment, and the AIR Tezu still holds a special place in the hearts of the public of undivided Lohit district.”
The CALSOM, on behalf of the public of undivided Lohit, appealed to the union minister to ensure retention of the current status of AIR Tezu as a separate entity by cancelling its merger with AIR Dibrugarh, which is located in Assam.
It further urged the minister to “take prompt action for upgrading the infrastructure/installation of high quality 10 kw FM transmitters and posting of station director/assistant station director at AIR Tezu for the sake of national interest.”
It said that AIR Tezu has been functioning without a station director since 2002.
The CALSOM also submitted separate memorandums in the matter to both the Lok Sabha members of the state – Kiren Rijiju and Tapir Gao – requesting them to “impress upon the authorities concerned to take appropriate action to ensure prompt upgrading/installation of high quality 10 kw FM transmitter and posting of a station director/assistant director at AIR Tezu.”