Protests against Telangana: Powerless in Andhra , trains Cancelled

Protests against a decision to create Telangana state have left Andhra Pradesh staring at a major power crisis. I-T city Hyderabad has been suffering power cuts since Sunday morning and several trains were cancelled, with thousands of electricity employees staying away from work.

There is a shoot-at-sight order and curfew at Vizianagaram town in coastal Andhra Pradesh after violence and arson over the weekend by anti-Telangana protesters. Protesters allegedly set a bank on fire and damaged public and private properties.

Several towns in Coastal Andhra and hundreds of villages in Rayalaseema region plunged into darkness owing to indefinite strike by electricity employees. There was no exemption to emergency services like hospitals, water supply and agriculture.

It is also believed that nearly 70,000 employees who are in strike have not taken their salary or the past two months, ever since the ruling Congress gave in to demands for carving out Telangana, with Hyderabad as its capital.

Supply was restored in Chittoor, Kadapa, Nellore, Guntur, Prakasam and Krishna districts after Southern Power Distribution Company Limited (SPDL) managing director H.Y. Dora held talks with employees’ leaders.

Protests against Telangana

Protests against Telangana

Power supply to even famous Tirumala temple at Tirupati was disrupted. The supply was restored by the employees after talks with the temple authorities.

The strike may affect electricity generation and supply not just in the 13 districts of Seemandhra, but may also hit transmission in Hyderabad and other parts of Telangana region.

The strike may also hit the southern grid as all four southern states — Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Kerala and Tamil Nadu — are inter-linked.

Anti-Telangana protests have triggered competitive fasts by politicians. After YSR Congress chief Jagan Mohan Reddy, now Telugu Desam Party (TDP) chief N Chandrababu Naidu has launched an indefinite fast.

Congress leader Digvijaya Singh has accused both Mr Naidu and Jagan of changing their stand on Telangana, with an eye on polls next year. Both had been seen to be ambiguous about the proposed new state earlier as they drew their support from the non-Telangana regions.

Sharanya Bharathwaj