Andhra grid unaffected by power utility staff's strike in Seemandhra

Saturday, 14 September 2013 20:46 Harikumar B

APBarring the instances of supply interruptions in some areas due to transmission line problems, the 72-hour strike  by close to 30,000 employees of the state power utilities in coastal Andhra and Rayalaseema regions by far remained peaceful.

No major disruptions to either supply or the generation of electricity were reported in the last 48 hours except in some cases where the power interruptions remained unattended in villages as the staff joined the anti-bifurcation stir.

According to the official data, the power utilities met the increased demand of 144.99 million units (mu)  as compared to 240.47 mu in the previous day. The shortfall was less than 1 mu. The associations of power utilities representing coastal Andhra and Rayalaseema said they had restricted the strike to three days keeping in view the hardships people would face in case of an indefinite stir.

Meanwhile, the ongoing agitation of the state government employees of Seemandhra against bifurcation continued unabated with agitators in some places targeting the banks and central government establishments on Friday. An official in the Andhra Bank headquarters here said that barring some stray incidents, most of the bank's branches in Seemandhra districts worked normally on Friday.

On the other hand, the strike launched by the state-owned road transport corporation (APSRTC) staff is reportedly causing severe hardships to people in these regions as over 12,000 passenger buses were kept off the roads for more than a month now.

Interestingly, the RTC staff unions said they would call off the strike if the government came forward to take over the corporation, meaning they want to be considered as government employees.

"The minister had met the associations twice to persuade them to end the strike. But no concrete discussions were held on their demand so far," an official of the state transport ministry said.

While the state government has so far made no active efforts to end the agitation of its staff, a hearing posted for September 16 on the question of legitimacy of the ongoing strike by the AP high court is expected to give some directions in this regard.

In a related development, the CPI(M) state wing said it would approach the Human Rights Commission against the ongoing agitation in coastal Andhra and Rayalaseema regions as the stir was causing hardships to the poor and the weaker sections of the society.

"Leaders of the anti-bifurcation stir should hold their agitations without putting the poor and the common masses to hardships, which exactly has been the case now," BV Raghavulu, secretary of the CP(M) state unit said in a meeting on Friday.

The CP(M) and the Majlis Ittehadul Muslimeen are the two political entities which have consistently opposed the state's bifurcation.

Source- Business standard