News in Brief
Kolkata Incident: A very unfortunate incident took place in the O/O of CE(EZ) on 29-07-2004. A particular staff member was being unduly pampered by one Dir(Engg) for the last many years, even in all official matters. All the contractors were instructed to come though this particular Technician. Even touring senior officers were forced to first discuss with this particular person and then meet the DE. This particular person started misinforming about transfer cases particularly to Bihar stations. This was objected to by ARTEE and the zonal unit was discussing the matter with the DE. In a rage of anger this Technician started abusing and manhandling the complainants in the presence of the DE. We condemn the whole episode. The coterie system must come to an end, for the betterment of the organization.
Witch-Hunt at Ranchi: A case has come to our notice that a complaint has been lodged by the sister Association alleging an Engg. Asstt. Of DDK Ranchi that he has forged his cast certificate during the process of recruitment. On the persistent demand of this Association, an enquiry has been carried out by Prasar Bharati. We've confirmed from the concerned EA, he firmly states that there is no substance in these wild allegations. He has further informed us that if the charges are proved to be true, he is ready to face the consequences. But if proved otherwise, imagine the amount of harassment and mental torture meted out to the individual. One ponders, is this the role of a Welfare Association?
Automation of LPTVs: Automation of LPTs is being experimented in Doordarshn. We are not averse to the introduction of latest technology, but at the same time we strongly believe that the fruits of advance technology should percolate down to the advantage of the staff. Automation should be introduced to the LPTVs which are extremely difficult, where little facilities are available, and not to those LPTVs which are situated in comparatively hospitable terrain. West zone in particular is now a days in the grip of this experiment.
Ahmedabad Training Course: Second batch of trainees for departmental examination for Helper to Tech and Sr. Tech. to EA were called at DDK Ahmedabad during 2nd week of September by Gujarat State Committee of ARTEE. Participants were very much satisfied with the training. On the last day of training Sh. Milind Joshi VP(WZ) along with Sh. L.B. Patil AGS(AIR) and Sh. Deepak S. JS(Tech/Sr.Tech) were present during the valedictory session. Many unit secretaries of Gujarat state were also present for a healthy interaction amongst the members. Efforts made by the unit secretaries of Ahmedabad and the Gujarat State committee deserve appreciation for this initiative.
Revision of OTA rates: Revision of OTA rates and eligibility
limit for the Central Government employees is long overdue. The last
revision took place before the notification of the Vth CPC. The matter
was discussed recently at the National Council level of JCM. Govt. came
out with certain set of proposals on the matter, which the staff side
did not agree to. Therefore as per the rules of the JCM, the matter
has been referred for arbitration. ARTEE is in constant touch with JCM
and any information received on the subject will be circulated through
FILAMENT or our website. Besides this, in the forthcoming meeting of
JCM in November 2004, a number of other issues are to be taken up. Some
such issues are;
Latest on Recruitment Rules: No meeting has been convened since 23-07-2004 for reasons best known to the authorities. We've have demanded to conduct the meetings on priority basis. But recently it has come to our notice that the official side of RR committee is planning to submit a set of proposed RRs unilaterally. We take exception to such a move and we've met the Member (Personnel) on the subject.
AIR Patna Incident: Morale diminishing incidents are happening with the staff at AIR Patna, these days. Welfare measures are low on priority since the arrival of the present Supdt. Engineer. Moreover interaction with the Supdt. Engr. also results in humiliation to staff representatives. In one incident an SEA suffered severe heart attack due to the mental harassment done at the hands of the Supdt. Engr. in the presence of other staff members in control room. The SEA survived the setback though, after he was promptly admitted to the ICU in the nearby hospital. Technical set-up at the station is in shambles. Upkeep of technical area, both in control room and transmitter end needs an immediate technical inspection. Many safety circuits have been bypassed including high voltage circuits in transmitter. Even the mandatory provision of anti-collision lamp atop the antenna mast makes no impact on the Supt. Engr. The anti-collision lamp is missing for a long time now. The way the 400 KVA generator is running is anything but professional. All these facts have been highlighted by the local unit in the presence of Sh. R. Dasgupta (President-ARTEE) and Sh. K.K. Chaudhary (President-ADTEA), during their visit to this troubled station. Recently an inquiry committee was set up by Directorate to go into the acts of omissions by the stations authorities and to find out the cause of dissatisfaction amongst staff. Sh, Ghanshyam, CE(NZ) conducted the inquiry in a transparent manner involving all the concerned. Outcome of the inquiry is awaited.
New HBA Rules: Hereafter for the purpose of granting of HBA, Basic pay plus Dearness Pay will be considered with the maximum limit of 34 months. This is effective from 15th October 2004. A corpus has been created in Prasar Bharati for grant of HBA. Those desirous may apply soon.
J&K Problem: Recently the package for Kashmir was withdrawn. A fresh dispensation is being worked out at the highest level. A difficult problem has surfaced, that of posting of staff, including local staff of Jammu and Migrants of Kashmir. A big delegation of affected persons lead by Sh A.K. Handoo (State Sec-J&K) came to the office of CE(NZ) for settlement. Sh. Ranjeet Singh CE (DDM) was very sympathetic to the staff of Jammu on this issue and took some bold decisions on the spot to the satisfaction of the staff of Doordarshan Jammu and Doordarshan Srinagar.
Orissa Visit by President: Sh R. Dasgupta visited Cuttack while on a personal tour in April May this year. On 30th April a meeting was organized at AIR Cuttack. Sh. B.B. Das raised many important issues like the aftereffects of zonal bifurcation, categorization of various AIR and DD stations in Orissa including the KBK region. Provision of security cover at most of the installations in Orissa etc. Besides the unit secretaries of AIR and DDK in BBSR and Cuttack, Sh. U.K. Patel from DDK Sambalpur, Sh. Bhaskar Basu and Sh Gairik Guha from East Zone office also participated in the meet. Similar meeting was also held at DDK Bhubaneshwar with members from DDK and RST(T). Meeting was also held at AIR and LPT Puri.
LPT Madhepura (Bihar) is off air: It is reported that the son of the house owner of the LPT building at Madhepura is in a habit of terrorizing the staff under the influence of liquor. A serious situation was created on 12-10-2004 when he beat up and threatened the staff on duty with a revolver and knife. The staff has been forced out of the premises resulting in closure of transmission. The staff have decided to handover the keys of LPT to the District Magistrate under intimation to SE, DMC Purnea and CE(EZ). The case is being taken up in Directorate.
On 14th July 2004, Orissa State Secretary Sh. B.B. Das with his team met Sh. J. Venkatraman, CE (EZ) and Sh. Thyagrajan DE, on their visit to Orissa and discussed a number of issues concerning the state and the zone. Some issues that were discussed in the meeting are;
· The staff problems at LPTs and LRS Rourkela, which are being run by single man shifts.
· Posting of faculties and staff members at RSTI (T)
· The case of categorization of LPTs and LRSs, particularly in the troublesome KBK region.
· Irregularities in transfer/ posting of subordinate staff.
· Construction of additional staff quarters at major stations of AIR/DD/LPT of Orissa.
· Acute drinking water crisis at DDK Bhawanipatna.
· Renovation of LPT Building at Sundargarh and construction of permanent building for LPT Deogarh.
· OTA problems of staff at DDK Sambalpur.
Meeting with Secretary I&B: In the meeting held with Sh. Navin Chawla, Secretary (Min of I&B) on 25th August 2004, we have requested to take necessary steps to ensure the continuance of the facilities of Central Government employees to the staff of AIR and DD till any alternative is provided by Prasar Bharati. He has assured that all the issues will be taken up with the concerned ministries. Regarding the promotion of Diploma holder AEs to JTS, he expressed concern on the stagnation and assured his efforts to find out some solution. He also assured to find out some solution to the problems arising out of the East Zone bifurcation. Sh. Ujjwal Singh Bhatia, Joint Secretary, also assured to speed up the action for finding out a solution on this issue.
Recovery of Electricity charges at Kingsway camp: For the last more than 50 yrs, source of electricity to the technical area and that of the residential quarter complex has been the same. It may be noted that during that time there was no electricity connections in the villages and hamlets around Radio Colony. Since then the occupants have been paying their electricity charges at domestic rates, with different rates for commercial usages for the Radio station. As if the department did not know this, recently it was pointed out by an audit party at HPT, AIR Kingsway that source of electricity for Radio Colony and Radio station are one, then how come the rates are different. Our department instead of clarifying the position, took it as a golden opportunity to harass the staff and decided to recover the difference between domestic and commercial charges from retrospective dates. This decision was not only harsh but illegal, as commercial charges cannot be levied on domestic occupants. Entire staff of Kingsway was agitated on the issue and held a sit-in-dharna under the leadership of ARTEE, spearheaded by Sh. Umesh Chandra, Addl Gen Sec. with active cooperation from the local office bearers of all the Associations. ARTEE central headquarter took up the matter promptly with DG (AIR) who in turn passed verbal orders for not to recover the dues. Written instructions though are still awaited. Supdt. Engr., HPT, AIR Kingsway has been instructed to arrange domestic electrical connections separately for the Radio Colony.
Court Case Update:
Meeting with E-in-C (DD): Following points were taken up in
a meeting with the E-in-C (DD) on 29th July 2004.
§ TA/DA for OB Duties: It was pointed out that TA/DA on OB duty is being paid as per Government rules in force. However Association wanted to consider grant of honorarium to the staff performing OB at difficult conditions such as Sabrimala OB duty. E-in-C assured that this aspect would be duly examined.
§ Shifting of LPT at Modasa and Sundergarh: With regard to LPT at Modasa (Guj) the Association was informed that the proposal has been included along with the EFC for Metro Staff Quarters. However the scheme is yet to be approved by the Government. It was assured that the case of LPT Sundergarh would also be examined in the Directorate.
§ Approach Road at LPT Limdi (Guj): ARTEE was informed that the fencing work on the approach road is being taken up by DMC Ahmedabad shortly after approval from the Zonal Office.
§ Policy of MLPT: The need of MLPT's providing coverage to areas of temporary nature such as army and paramilitary camps was told in the meeting. However in view of the difficulties being faced by the staff, provision of Porta Cabin type restrooms with necessary facilities would be considered. E-in-C directed for provisioning of mobile phones immediately to the MLPT's in the J&K region for ensuring smooth communication.
§ Security arrangements for Stations in Orissa: In view of the underground outfits operating freely in the border areas of Orissa, a need was felt to augment the Security arrangements in Doordarshan establishments particularly those located in remote areas. However the details regarding requirement of security guards at various establishments are being compiled by the H/Q section of the Directorate for forwarding to the DDG (security).
§ Acute Shortage of Technical area at LPT Udhampur (J&K): By construction of additional porta cabins, the problem has already been addressed.
§ Irregularity in North Zone: The Association pointed out their difficulties in getting the staff related issues solved in the North Zone office and wanted Directorate to intervene. The point has been taken note of by the Directorate.
§ Deployment of Staff for DTH Services: ARTEE expressed its resentment on the issue of outsourcing of staff for the DTH services at Todapur (Delhi). E-in-C informed the Association representatives of the delay in sanctioning of the posts by the ministry and said that due to commissioning of the service, outsourcing seems to be the only viable media. However Association stuck to its stand and the issue remained unresolved.
§ Construction of Earth Station at PPC Guwahati: It was informed that the issue has been resolved long back amicably with local unit of ARTEE at Guwahati during the last visit of E-in-C. (Note: Since the agenda point and the request letter was sent long back to the Directorate, so the point figured once again in the meeting.)
§ Training of Staff at LPTs: Association brought to the notice of E-in-C that some staff from major stations gets undue advantage in the form of repeated training. And in fact, when these people go to some tenure station, even then they keep going for trainings at Delhi, Lucknow or Mumbai. Because of this our staff at remote LPTs is deprived of training. E-in-C therefore decided to issue a circular for avoiding repetition of same names again and again. Also nominations of staff from one-year tenure stations for the training will be stopped forthwith.
§ Incentive for Acquiring Higher Qualification: Association pointed out difficulty for grant of incentive from Doordarshan Directorate while the same is being allowed in AIR Directorate. It was assured that the matter will be looked into.
§ Posting of staff at DDK Srinagar (J&K): Association referred to the employee's agitation on recent order of the DDK withdrawing the tour facility to Jammu in respect of the staff posted at DDK Srinagar. It was told that the situation would be reviewed jointly with AIR & Doordarshan together for implementation of the necessary orders (Note: Pl See for the relvent subject elsewhere in this issue).