Telangana strike pushes Andhra to brink of darkness

Situation likely to deteriorate as teachers expected to strike from Friday

By Omer Farooq,

Hyderabad: With the indefinite mass strike in Telangana region further intensifying on the third day yesterday, Andhra Pradesh and neighbouring states seem to be heading towards a power shut down due to the complete halt of coal production in Singareni Collieries mines across four districts of the region.

With 70,000 mine workers in Singareni determined to continue their indefinite strike in support of a Telangana state and no sign of any softening by the striking government employees, the state government was finding the situation increasingly difficult to handle.

As the National Thermal Power Corporation’s 2600 MW plant in Ramagundam, Karimnagar district was the hardest hit by the stoppage of coal supply, authorities have said they will be forced to reduce the power generation by 700 MW. It will not only compel the state government to go in for a power cut, but will also hit the other neighbouring states of Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Maharashtra and Kerala who also draw power from the plant.

The state’s own thermal power plants will also be badly hit as the production of 167,000 tonnes of coal a day is stopped in Adilabad, Karimnagar, Warangal and Khammam in Telangana region.

Power crisis

Raghu, convenor of the Joint Action Committee of the electricity employees asked the government to be ready to face severe power crisis in the days to come if the demands of Telangana were not met immediately.

State government offices remained shut for a third day yesterday with most employees in the region boycotting duties and demanding the immediate formation of a Telangana state.

The situation is likely to deteriorate as government teachers are expected to strike today. Road Transport Corporation employees will also join the strike from September 19 as well as Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation (GHMC).

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