Corporation employees stage a dharna in front of the main gate of the VMC office

Civic services came to a grinding halt with Vijayawada Municipal Corporation employees launching a 72-hour strike in protest against the UPA Government decision to bifurcate the State, here on Monday.

Except for emergency services, all others like building plans, and issuance of birth and death certificates were stopped. The corridors of the VMC Administrative Building, which otherwise bustle with activity, wore a deserted look. Similar situation was found at the VMC circle offices also.

The corporation employees boycotted their duties and staged a dharna in front of the main gate of the VMC office before taking out a rally to the Gandhi statue near the VMC office. They formed a human chain and obstructed movement of vehicles on the national highway abutting the river Krishna.

Joint Action Committee convener D. Eswar said that emergency services like water supply, street lighting and sanitation were exempted from the strike. The employees would join the strike announced by the AP NGOs from August 12.

Municipal teachers would be asked to boycott classes and join the agitation. On the second day of the strike, government offices and educational institutions would be closed down. On the last day of the strike, massive rallies would be taken out by employees and workers. If the Government did not respond to the agitation, emergency services would also be stopped, he said.

They also registered their protest against Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) president K. Chandrasekhara Rao’s remarks that coastal Andhra and Rayalaseema employees should go back to their respective regions as soon as Telangana state was carved out. Taking exception to KCR’s remarks and the silence of the Central Government, they wondered whether KCR had become the Chief Minister of Telanagana even before the formation of that state. Telangana was not personal property of KCR. Who is he to say Jago Bago?, they asked.

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