Port Blair, Oct 20 (UNI) Papers sans news today hit the news stands here much to the surprise of the people.
The local dailies were, of course, published and circulated, but all had a blank look.
Senior officials of the local administration remained tightlipped on the issue.
An emergency meeting of Daily Newspapers' Association (DNA) of Andaman and Nicobar Islands was held here yesterday in which the move was taken to come up with blank editions in the morning.
'' There was no other option. We, the owners of small daily newspapers of A&N Islands, have been incurring huge loss dyring the past two years and the administration was least bothered,'' K Ganeshan, the Convener of Daily Newspapers' Association(DNA) told UNI today.
In another meeting today, the DNA had also decided to leave the editorial column blank unless the local administration initiated any ''favourable'' action towards addressing the issue.
In absence of private business houses or industries in Andaman and Nicobar Islands, the daily newspapers are largely dependent on advertisement support from the government for survival.
The DNA alleged that around 90 per cent of the government advertisements in Andaman were being provided to the administration-owned daily 'The Daily Telegrams', while the rest was distributed among around eight private local dailies.
'' Due to the step-motherly attitude during the past one year, private dailies are getting government advertisement ranging from Rs 4,000 to Rs 5,000. On the other hand, the government-run dailies is earning nearly Rs six lakh in a month. This is totally unfare,'' the convener of DNA added.
Besides staging protest in front of IP Department building, the DNA is also planning to boycott the official National Press Day function of A&N Administration on November 16.
''The day will be remembered as a black day of Andaman's History,'' Mr Ganeshan remarked.
UNI SKR SB RN1832