District units of the All India Agricultural Workers’ Union (AIAWU) and the Karnataka Rajya Raitha Sangha (KRRS) have criticised the State government for resorting to unscheduled load-shedding in Udupi district and have threatened to lay siege to the offices of the Mangalore Electricity Supply Company (MESCOM).

In a press release issued in Udupi on Saturday, secretary of the district unit of AIAWU Dogu Suvarna said that although the district had a 1,200 MW power project, the people here had to spend most of their time without power.

The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) government had failed in making electricity available to people. If this was the state of affairs in the first week of February, the situation in April and May could well be imagined.

The students were likely to face examinations in a short time. It would be extremely difficult for them to study for their exams given the power cuts. With the increasing number of incidents of atrocities against women, it would be difficult for working women to return home from work during evenings.

Immediate action

The BJP government and the MESCOM should take immediate action to solve the power crisis, failing which, the AIAWU would lay siege to the MESCOM Office, the release added.

In a separate press release, the vice-president of the State unit of KRRS Vijaykumar Hegde said that the people of Udupi district could not be made to suffer for the shut-down of the 1,200 MW thermal plant of Udupi Power Corporation Ltd (UPCL). The UPCL was paying the price for its own sins. The thermal plant was started without conducting a proper feasibility study and had affected the health of people and cattle. It had also affected agriculture and fisheries in Udupi district.

The government should be held responsible for permitting the setting up of a thermal plant in a highly eco-sensitive district such as Udupi. The power cuts in Udupi district should be equal to that in Bangalore. If this was not the case, the KRRS along with the farmers, fishermen and other political parties and organisations would “gherao” the MESCOM offices, the release added.

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