They stage dharna protesting against disconnection of power supply

Sarpanches from various gram panchayats in Krishna District staged a dharna in front of office of the Superintendent Engineer of AP Transco here on Monday, protesting against disconnection of power supply by AP Trancso in major and minor panchayats, despite GO 80 being in force that refrains the transmission company from disconnecting power for non-payment of power dues.

Leading the dharna, former MLC Y.V.B. Rajendra Prasad said as per GO 80 issued on January 17, 2009, AP Transco has no right to cut the power in the panchayats for non-payment of electricity bills by the individual panchayats, as it was being paid centrally by the department of Panchayat Raj and Rural Employment at Hyderabad. Gram panchayats come under the AP Panchayat Raj Act of 1994, where in the government is obliged to provide the basic amenities such a streetlighting, sanitation and water supply. And in such circumstances the disconnection of power without notice was illegal. And what is happening between the departments is not of our concern, the former MLC said.

Mr. Rajendra Prasad told The Hindu that owing to non-availability of power for 15 days, accidents and incidents of snake bites increased in the panchayats. “We demand immediate restoration of power and cases that were put up against a few Sarpanches by AP Transco be immediately withdrawn,” he said.

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