On November 30, the Press Trust of India (PTI) reported that CPI MP Binoy Viswam from Kerala has written to Information and Broadcasting Minister Prakash Javadekar, alleging that AIR is closing down government-financed radio and television channels. The allegations were picked up several news agencies.
In his letter, the MP has alleged that in the meeting held on November 18, it was decided to curtail the programs originating from Kerala. “This new move by Prasar Bharati is against this principle and its very motto of public service broadcasting,” he added.Before the PTI report, on November 12, The Hindu had reported that the Kozhikode, Thrissur AM stations might close down soon. The report suggested that shutting down the stations is part of a nationwide policy to cut down the functioning costs of the institutes. At some places, FM segments will be retained. The report further suggested that AIR has asked the listeners to use their web application, which won’t be feasible due to network issues. The machines at the stations are old, and it is not possible to replace them.