Strike cripples water, train and medical services

Talks between Chief Minister N. Kiran Kumar Reddy and striking electricity employees failed on Tuesday night with the latter deciding to continue the agitation against bifurcation of Andhra Pradesh.

After two rounds of talks, Chairman of the Power Employees Joint Action Committee Sai Baba told reporters that the Chief Minister had requested them to call off the strike as people were suffering. They informed Mr. Reddy that they would get back to him after talking to JACs in the districts. But “as of now, the strike continues as usual and there is no change in the situation,” he added.

Out of about 11,000 megawatt functional generation capacity, work on production of over 6,000 MW was halted. As a result, train and medical services, drinking water supply and ATMs remained affected at many places, particularly in Seemandhra districts. Power generation was halted for the third consecutive day at VTPS, RTPPS, GMR, GVK, Spectrum and Reliance private power projects, besides the Srisailam and Sileru hydro power stations.

In Vijayawada, there was no power from 6 a.m. to 7 p.m. and most of the hospitals used generators. ATMs functioned in malls which had generators. But elsewhere, they were closed for lack of cash and power.

According to a report from Visakhapatnam, the power situation improved compared to Monday, with the AP EPDCL managing to minimise the gap between demand and supply to 30 per cent. As a result, the power utility ensured supply to RINL and HPCL. However, supply was curtailed to industries during peak hours as it might lead to a grid collapse, according to V. Krishna, Director (Projects), AP EPDCL.

The IT industry continued to suffer blackout.

The East Coast Railway said the Visakhapatnam-Nizamuddin Link Express was delayed by three hours, while the Bhubaneswar-Visakhapatnam Inter City, scheduled to leave on Wednesday, was cancelled.

The South Central Railway halted all goods trains and decided to use diesel engines to run passenger trains.