LUCKNOW, Feb. 4 -- Avid radio listeners in many parts of Uttar Pradesh have reported what they call, a "curious disturbance" during the transmission from Lucknow centre of All India Radio's (AIR's) primary medium wave channel these days.

Aired at 747 kilohertz frequency, the primary channel goes blank daily at 9 am, just when AIR's Lucknow channel is broadcasting Urdu news that is run daily from 8.50 am to 9.05 am.

After lasting for two hours, the disruption clears at 11 am only to return again during the evening broadcast at 3 pm; the second disruption lasting three hours making it a total 5 hour 'blackout' - a development which has caught the listeners unaware.

Barring those five hours, the transmission for the rest of the day is done ...