Normal life was paralysed in Vijayawada on the first day of the 48-hour bandh called given by the Krishna district Samaikyandhra JAC on Wednesday. The APNGOs who are on strike along with students targeted Central Government offices, especially LIC and GIC, and made them close. All banks were also made to close. Since no auto-rickshaws were allowed to ply the main streets of the city wore a deserted look. Cinema halls, restaurants and other such establishments also remained closed voluntarily.
Crane owners and drivers took out an impressive procession from Jawahar Autonagar to Benz Circle protesting against the proposed division of the State. In a novel protest the crane drivers formed a circle around the Benz Circle and extended the arm of the crane.
Hundreds of girl students staged a dharna in front of the sub-collector’s office for over an hour under the aegis of the Samaikyandhra Political JAC. Political JAC Convenor Kolanukonda Sivaji organised cricket, shuttle and other games for the students on the busy Mahatma Gandhi Road.
Students then went around the city on two-wheelers and implemented the bandh. The activists even roughed up a petrol bunk owner and workers who were catering to customers on M.G.Road.
Traders of Vastralatha Shopping complex who also participated in the bandh arranged ‘vanta varpu’ at Kaleswararao market centre to register their protest against the proposed division.
Flower market shop owners took out a rally to the Vijayawada Municipal Corporation office and expressed their solidarity to the VMC JAC activists who have been on relay hunger strike for the past 30 days.
The VMC JAC activists as part of the 48-hour bandh obstructed the work of sanitation workers who were on duty.
The Electrical Employees State JAC vice-president M.Satyanandam addressing a press conference said that the cost of thermal power would also go up because there was no coal in Seemandhra. Customers would have to pay Rs.7 a unit and industries at Rs.8 to Rs.10 per unit. Even the Narla Tatarao Thermal Power Station (NTTPS), which was in Seemandhra region, needed Krishna water for power generation, he observed. He said the employees of the department were going on token strike for 72-hours beginning the intervening night of Wednesday-Thursday.