South Zone Convention: Chennai

ARTEE's South Zone convention and CWC meet was held in Chennai on 6th, 7th and 8th August 2004. Some of the zonal matters highlighted by the respective representatives are;
FM Kochi: This station has a distinction of being a big revenue earner and yet a neglected station. Sh Boben George (State Sec-Kerala) informed the house that last year FM Kochi was given a target of 50 Lakh but the station earned 90 lakhs. This year the station has been given a target of 2.5 Crore. But the unfortunate part is, the station has a staff strength of a co-sited LRS. In reality the transmitter and studio complexes are separate for Main channel and Vividh Bharati. As a result many a times the DED has to take over as EOD, sometimes one person performs duties in all the three shifts. Non-utility of the CBS studio and the telemetry was highlighted. Sh George also requested the house for a fair implementation of the transfer policy; later the house adopted a resolution to the effect that the zonal CE office should prepare a database of the staff strength.
        The problem of admission to central schools was also discussed. It was stated that as far as admissions are concerned, we're now left at the mercy of the Principles. On this Sh George informed that in Kerala a CAT has given a judgment in our favour stating that 'Prasar Bharati employees are still central govt. employees and admission be granted to their wards accordingly'. The Govt. appealed in High court and that appeal has also been rejected.
        It was also emphasized that regular training be imparted to Unit Secretaries, so that future leadership be groomed.
        LPT Mallapuram representative informed the house that while they are getting HRA as 5%, but recently the BSNL staff has got it hiked to 7.5 %.
        AIR Hyderabad: Sh Ashok (State Sec-AP) informed the house that recently at AIR Hyderabad the staff repaired a condemned 1KW transmitter, but the authorities made efforts to run this transmitter with the help of outside agencies, which the staff has resisted so far. Sh. Ashok and Sh Jamily Reddy also demanded that the transfer policy be implemented in letter and spirit. Issue of Compassionate appointments was also highlighted. AIR Hyderabad Unit Secretary also highlighted the problem of transport, staff quarters and pending medical/ OTA bills.

Lively discussion took place when the Zonal Chief Engineer Sh Ramaswamy and Director (Engg) Sh. Jawahar also joined the house. The CE had the first hand information of staff problems and assured to solve some of them.
·    On the issue of no-payment of honorarium at Hyderabad, he opined that their should not be a problem in the payment of this honorarium (for national games) and assured the house that he'll look into it.
·     On the transport problems at Hyderabad, Kochi, Tiruchi, Nagarcoil etc. Sh Ramaswamy was of the opinion that some of these problems have a local twist with a drivers lobby at variance with that of technical staff, but he assured the house that he'll try to resolve the matter as soon as possible.
·     On droppings after the night shift in LPTs, he assured that this will not be a problem in near future.
·     On the problem of staff quarters at AIR Hyderabad, CE informed the house that an FM transmitter is being installed at Hyderabad, so possibility will be explored if something can be done during this installation for additional staff quarters.
·     LPT Kanhangarh representatives demanded for shifting of an SEA post, on which the CE opined that shifting of a post may not be easy, particularly seeing the scarcity of staff in almost all the centres.
·    On the FM Kochi issue CE desired that a note be put to him so that he can do something constructive to resolve the problems.
·     Issue of security fencing at AIR Calicut was also raised. The house was informed that because of the adjacent sea beach, the fencing is all the more required.

On this the CE assured that it will be done under the Planned Review Grant (PRG) scheme soon.
·    On the issue of recruitment of helpers and technicians, the Director (Engg) Sh. Jawahar informed the house that Helpers recruitment has already been stopped, and for the recruitment of Technicians a process was started by the zonal office in recent past, but instructions came to the effect that all the vacant posts must first go to the screening committee in the Ministry. So, this process is also stopped in mid-way and can only move ahead when the committee clears the posts.
·    The transfer case of a Technician at Idduki was also discussed, CE was kind enough to state that the case will be examined sympathetically, but at the same time apprehension was expressed that once the technician is brought out of Idduki, then the zonal office may not find anyone for Idduki.
·    Similarly the case of Sh. Biju K. M (Tech) under orders of transfer to Adoor (from LPT Kavarathi) also came up, CE said that if enough people are there then he can be relieved soon.
·    DMC Coimbatore representatives informed that for the last 3-4 months the GPF contribution from all the 7 LPTs under this DMC is not being sent to P&AO and expressed apprehension of misappropriation. Sh. Ramaswamy assured to look into it.
·     Sh Harilal (DMC Coordinator - Thrissur) highlighted the fact that in Kerala, AIR & DD establishments have now been categorized as commercial, resulting in inflated power bills, he requested the authorities to look into it.
·    The excesses committed by an AE at LPT Chitradurga (Karnataka) were also brought to the notice of the house. Suicide by an EA at Chitradurga was also linked to these excesses. The AE has long completed his tenure and representatives requested for his immediate transfer.
·     Similar excesses committed by the SE at Pawagodda (Distt-Tumkur) under DMC Bangalore were also brought to the notice of the house. It was told that the SE even deducts money from the salary of staff for paying telephone bills. Sh. Ramaswamy expressed surprise on this and said that he has taken note of it.
·     AIR Mysore representatives asked for a rest room and an additional toilet for the staff. CE assured of the rest room and for additional toilet he said he'll have to see the fund position.
·     Sh T.P. Basheer brought to the notice of the house the acute shortage of staff and building leakage problem at HPT Shimoga. CE informed the house that on 22nd and 23rd July DPC (for EA to SEA) has taken place and the list gone to Directorate, so posting of SEA will be done in that list. For the leakage problem, he assured that it'll be rectified with the PRG fund.
·    HPT Kodaikanal representatives said that the transmitter makes lot of noise and a partition is immediately required. CE assured that it will be done. It was also mentioned that bad weather allowance is being given only in AIR Kodaikanal and not in DDK. Representatives informed that they've given a copy of the order to the SE at DDK Kodaikanal, but still it is not being implemented. CE assured that it will be sorted out.
·    The case of stopping of increment of Sh N. Sundresan (Tech) at Udukmalpet was also discussed. CE assured to look into the matter on priority basis.
· Sh. Adimoolam highlighted the drinking water problem at Tirupattur. CE assured that it will be provided soon.
·    DMC Port Blair, having 12 VLPTs is facing acute shortage of maintenance staff, representatives requested to utilize the services of DDK staff as well for this purpose. Discrepancy in the Helper's seniority list was also highlighted. DDK Port-Blair is also facing acute shortage of funds as far as TA/DA payments are concerned. CE opined that the issue needs be taken up with DDG (South) and then with the Directorate.