Shimla: The service of AIR Shimla, AIR FM Shimla, AIR FM Hamirpur, AIR FM Dharamshala and Doordarshan Shimla was completely paralysed in the state today, as its employees went on a two day national level strike, beginning yesterday. The employees were gathered outside DD Shimla and staged 48-hour protest on the call of National Federation of Akashvani and Doordarshan Employees (NFADE). The striking staff is demanding a repeal of the Prasar Bharati Act, which takes the organisation out of government control or responsibility, making it autonomous.
NFADE claimed that over 90 per cent of the 1,800 stations run by the two public broadcasters had been crippled by the agitation. Local news bulletin broadcasted and telecasted on AIR and DD Shimla have not been taking place and it is being replaced by film songs. Similarly, AIR phone news service is not broadcasting any news items. The services of DD Kasuli Kender, DD Dharamshala along with AIR FM stations Shimla, Hamirpur and Dharamshala is still being hit by the strike, as scheduled programme is not running as per its scheduled. According to NFADE Chairman S. Anil Kumar about 1,700 stations have been hit with 38,000 employees boycotting their duties on the nation level. He claimed that with all technical, office and logistical staff not working, several regional channels were off air with most others forced to play pre-recorded content only. “AIR’s AM channel is only playing bhajans,” he said. “Even DD National was off air for two hours.”