Mobile LPTs, which never move

The concept of 'Mobile' has been given a new definition in Doordarshan. Since the year 2000 a good number of Mobile LPTs have been procured by Doordarshan. One would have thought that these MLPTs would move along with big army detachments in the combat zone, but surprisingly all these mobile MLPTs are at fixed places inside a makeshift boundary. Few questions remain unanswered;
· Why at all the MLPTs were procured, when these are to be deployed at fixed site? Apart from the cost of the transmitter, the Prime Movers are costing around 40 Lakhs Extra.

· Two numbers of drivers have been employed against each MLPT, who have no jobs for obvious reasons.
Who shall answer these questions ! The fate of the staff is beyond imagination. The staff is forced to live in Porta-Godowns, without any furniture, electricity, toilet, water facility, telephone connectivity, medical coverage etc. The list could go on an on.

In a letter written to the Directorate, ARTEE has highlighted the following points for arriving at a logical solution regarding J&K problems.

A. Recent move to reconsider the arrangement of staff deployment at Radio Kashmir, Srinagar.
There are three categories of staff working at Radio Kashmir Srinagar.
1. Those belonging to valley and posted at Radio Kashmir Srinagar.
2. Those belonging to valley, posted at RK Srinagar and working at RK Jammu against Srinagar Posts (i.e. migrants). In this category the persons belonging to Srinagar and posted to RK Srinagar have migrated to Jammu and were working in RK Jammu since 1990. By withdrawing this order, the migrants will be forced to go back to Srinagar. It may be noted here with emphasis that the migrants along with their families are having a definite threat perception on their lives at Srinagar.
3. Those not belonging to J&K, but posted at RK Srinagar for a fixed tenure of one year and are required to serve in total confinement in the office premises, with free boarding and lodging facilities, as enunciated in the Kashmir package. They are to serve in Srinagar for 180 days out of one year tenure. For the rest of the period one would stay at Headquarter, RK Jammu. This arrangement was working smoothly since 1990 till the Directorate thought it otherwise, recently. If this facility is withdrawn, as perceived by the latest move, there is bund to be chaos in RK Srinagar as everyone will be forced to work in total confinement for 365 days at a stretch.
Therefore ARTEE has demanded that the existing facilities/ arrangements be continued till there is substantial change in the overall circumstances in Srinagar Valley.

B. Commissioning of extremely difficult and remote stations in and around Leh-Kargil area.
A good number of Radio stations have been installed at most inaccessible and cut-off areas of Laddakh region. Most of these places are having inclement weather condition, without even any pretence of Medical and Education facilities. Without any telephone connectivity and even road connectivity is umimaginably deplorable. These places are very difficult to trace on the political map of the country. Some of the places are in news only after the Kargil conflict of 1999. The places are Drass, Tiesuru, Neoma, Diskit, Padum etc. Out of these places Drass is the second coldest place in the world after Siberia in the North Pole region. To reach Diskit, one has to tavel on the highest motorable road in the world at 18500 ft, from MSL. One has to experience a bumpy journey of about 300 km from Kargil to discover Tiesuru, a place selected for a new radio station for a population of only 500 families. Tiesuru is cut off from the rest of the world for nearly 4 months. Padum, the newly selected hamlet for an LRS is distinctively different from all other places. One has to travel nearly 350 kms from Kargil on a make-shift road to Padum. The place is cut off from rest of the world from September to April/ May every year due to heavy snowfall and hostile weather conditions. Even the contingent of Army also deserts this place during this period. One can only imagine the fate and mental agony of the staff, proposed to be posted in these stations.
All these stations have;
· No telephone connectivity
· No electricity
· No drinking water source
· No round the year market/ shops
· No medical support
· No educational facilities
· Extreme inclement weather condition
· Near cut-off condition from rest of the world.

It is indeed a matter of great concern that authorities are making an attempt to commission these stations without drawing any policy to facilitate the staff to face these natural and man made difficulties. Only a handful of EA/ SEA are being proposed to be sent at these places without any Gazetted staff. It is strongly demanded that staff should be sent to these most difficult places only after some decision at the highest level is finalized to negotiate the difficulties, may be in line with facilities extended to forces.