As Andhra Pradesh boils over the Telangana issue, public and private properties worth over Rs. 250 crore were destroyed by protesters in all the three regions of the state so far, government sources said.
Adding the loss caused to businesses because of the seemingly unending spate of shutdowns in Telangana, the figure could be a few hundred crores of rupees more.
Of the total loss to properties, about 80 per cent was caused in Telangana region alone where people demanding a separate state have been more “violent,” the sources said.
As many as 52 public and 28 private properties were burnt while 62 public and 114 private properties were damaged in the violence that broke out in Telangana region from November 29 to December 9, after TRS chief K Chandrasekhar Rao began his indefinite fast demanding separate statehood for Telangana.
The agitations supporting a united state recorded 37 public properties and 11 private properties being burnt and 46 public and 47 private properties damaged between December 10 and 23, statistics compiled by the police reveal.
The state-run Andhra Pradesh Road Transport Corporation (APSRTC) bore the brunt of the strife with 35 buses being burnt and another to 214 damaged. 50 private buses were also damaged and seven were set on fire by Telangana protesters.
Pro-Telangana groups went on a rampage and damaged as many as 268 buses in the state capital and other districts of Telangana region on a single day following the Centre’s announcement on the statehood issue on December 23.
Besides, over 50 public and over 150 private properties were also badly burnt or damaged in the second round of “protests” in Telangana so far.
According to Transport Minister S Vijayarama Raju, APSRTC suffered a loss of over Rs 110 crore since November 29.
“These are only bare estimates as the destructions are still continuing in Telangana region,” a top ranking bureaucrat said.
The protesters also targeted railway properties causing a loss of several crores of rupees due to burning of four railway stations and other damages at various places in all the three regions of Andhra Pradesh.
The protesters damaged railway signalling panels and equipments besides burning two bogies and pelting stones on two Express trains.
“Apart from attacks on railway properties in view of bandhs, rail rokos and demonstrations, railways are also losing particularly due to non-transportation of goods and parcel which are lying at different railway stations,” a senior official of the South Central Railway (SCR) told PTI.
The protesters did not spare telephone exchanges, cell phone towers. They also set fire to optical fibre cables at a BSNL warehouse in Anantapur causing over Rs 30 lakh loss.
The number of persons who ended their lives demanding Telangana state was three times higher in the region with 18 persons resorting to the extreme step while six persons committed suicide in support of unified Andhra Pradesh.
As many as 82 persons tried to end their lives for Telangana state while 49 attempted suicides in Andhra and Rayalaseema regions, police sources said.