Lakhs of households in the five districts--Visakhapatnam, Vizianagaram, Srikakulam, East and West Godavari--coming under EPDCL plunged into darkness with the Joint Action Committee going on strike in support of their demand for keeping the State united and opposing the Union Cabinet clearing the note for formation of Telangana. EPDCL Director (Operations) E. Krishna said over 50 lakh consumers in the five districts went without power owing to the strike.

Around 8,000 employees were on strike resulting in the five districts going without power right from 9 a.m.

According to EPDCL JAC chairman V.S.R.K. Ganapathi, the absence of staff, from engineers to workers, resulted in technical problems not being taken care of resulting in tripping. All the 133 Kv and 220 Kv substations in the five districts were affected. Besides with the Genco staff also on strike at the 240 Mw and 25 Mw at Sileru and Donkarayi also came to a halt, it was learnt. With generation at the RTPS and VTPS also plummeting, it was not known whether the demand would be fully met.

EPDCL CMD M. Seshagiribabu held discussions with the striking staff here in the morning. However, the JAC leaders made it clear the strike decision was taken by the State JAC And unless a direction came from it they could not join duty. The State JAC was holding talks with the Chief Minister, it was learnt.

Mr. Ganapathi said even if the go ahead to resume duties came from the State leadership it would be difficult to say when the power supply would be resumed.

A number of anxious people were heard enquiring with the striking staff when the supply would be resumed. The hopes of people that supply would be resumed by the evening were belied.