JEYPORE: ALL India Radio, Jeypore is pitiably understaffed and is struggling to maintain its normal day-to-day operations. Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s ‘Mann Ki Baat’, the weekly programme, too has failed to revive the fortunes of the 45-year-old station, one of the leading radio stations in the State.
The station is being managed by one station director, two assistant station directors and three programme executives. Posts of 12 transmission executives are lying vacant while only three out of the requisite 21 programme staffers are managing the show.
No staff is posted for duty rooms for transmission and programme executives are performing the job in addition to their duty.
The 100 KW AIR station was set up in 1968 with an aim to highlight the rich cultural heritage of the region comprising undivided Koraput, Kalahandi and present Gajapati districts.
The radio station was recognised with over 100 national and international awards for its quality coverage of local and innovative programmes. The AIR station has been broadcasting programmes in four dialects of Kondh, Adivasi, Sour and Odia for over 15 lakh listeners.
But, of late, the AIR station has been largely neglected by the Centre, particularly the Information and Broadcasting Ministry. The fate of about 2,000 artistes, casual anchors and researchers hangs in the balance due to cut in funds from the ministry.
Under the new broadcasting policy, the Centre slashed the programme funds from `one crore a year to a meagre `10 lakh. As a result, the station has stopped engaging casual staff for airing programmes.
Till three months back, the skeletal staff managed the centre by repeating the age-old programmes to keep its listeners tuned in.
The station managers are also relaying programmes of Cuttack AIR and AIR New Delhi to retain their consumer base. In-charge Station Director Jagannath Shetty admitted that paucity of funds and shortage of staff have stolen the charm of the centre. “We have taken up the matter with higher-ups for further consideration and are awaiting their response,” he said.
Meanwhile, the district AIR Artistes’ Forum here demanded before the Prasar Bharati to take up the matter and maintain the glory of one of the oldest stations of KBK region.