The All India Radio (AIR), Kokrajhar Station has been in dire straits as the airing of programs has been totally suspended since October 3 due to replacement of machines and repairing of rooms. Various organizations in Kokrajhar expressed their resentment for the neglect shown to the lone radio station in the region.

A delegation of various democratic organizations on Saturday called on the Director Engineer of the AIR, Kokrajhar Station and urged him to take urgent steps to resume the airing of programs and upgrading the existing machineries. The organizations also demanded that the AIR, Kokrajhar should be upgraded to High Power Transmission (HPT) for the interest of the region with hi-tech machines. The leaders of different organizations, however, were not satisfied with the assurance of Director Engineer of the AIR, Kokrajhar who sought a month’s time to resume programs as all machinery rooms had been dismantled without alternative arrangement for continuing the airing of program.

The officials of the Kokrajhar AIR, while informing media persons,  said the airing of programs had been completely suspended since October 3 as the machines were removed and rooms were dismantled before alternative arrangements were made to continue the programs. They said the new Director Engineer Akilesh Prasad Singh who joined AIR, Kokrajhar, since the last three months had been working as per his wish without work order from the Director General Information and Broadcasting Ministry and he started 100 watt FM on September 25 without instruction from the ministry concerned but stopped on September 30. The 100-watt FM is not at all sufficient to cover the areas and people of the region have been demanding upgrade but despite this fact, Singh started the FM at AIR, Kokrajhar at Bhotgaon and later took to its transmission centre at Harinaguri, which did not even last for five days, they said, adding that the rooms like playback studio, recording, dubbing and control rooms were being dismantled simultaneously and  even the officials were forced to work in dusty rooms while the engineers of the station do not reach as office vehicles have not been provided to pick them up and drop them.

Sources said there was no post for Director Engineer at Kokrajhar AIR and the provision in the station is only for Station Director and Assistant Director, Program. Since Singh has become the boss of the station, he has been reportedly working as per his wish without proper guidelines from the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting, Government of India.

Meanwhile, Director Engineer Akilesh Prasad Singh told the media persons on Friday that he would make the Kokrajhar AIR fully operational within a month. He said the programs would be resumed after the repairing of rooms and re-installation of machines was over.

On the other hand, the democratic organizations like the ABSU, BSS, ABWWF, DBHA, BSU, NDFB (P), PJACBM, All Bodo Radio and Television Artistes’ Association and Boro Somaj have already sent memoranda to the Prime Minister, Director General of Akashvani Bhavan, AIR, New Delhi and Minister of Information and Broadcasting, demanding the shifting and upgrade of the much-neglected AIR station, Kokrajhar from existing Kashipara to somewhere near Kokrajhar town. – Sentinel Assam