‘Aam aadmi’ bears the brunt

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The Samaikyandhra agitation that has been on the gallop ever since the Union Cabinet gave its nod for the bifurcation of Andhra Pradesh appears to be heading towards inflicting a severe blow to normal lives of people in 13 Seemandhra districts in the days to come.

With the 70,000-odd employees of the APGenco, AP Transco and the Discoms on an indefinite strike, disruption of train services, medical emergencies and water supply in municipalities have become the order of the day. In all towns and cities, troubles are endless, with people living in apartments bearing the brunt of the Vidyut JAC agitation.

The power crisis continues to haunt people of all the 13 districts and in some parts of the Telangana region, too. In Visakhapatnam, Guntur, Nellore, Prakasam, Krishna and East Godavari, people have been facing prolonged power cuts of over 15 hours at a stretch. The woes of all sections have been pouring in. Shortage of oxygen in several government and private hospitals was markedly felt as the bottling plants were not functioning owing to lack of power. At many hospitals, the trauma section was badly hit as the equipment attached to the radiology wing (such as CT scan) was not functioning.

The agony appeared to be never-ending at the paediatric and burns ward at government hospitals, as air-conditioners stopped working.

Relatives were seen trying to comfort infants and those suffering from burns with age-old hand-held fans made of palm leaves.

Water crisis is likely to become severe if the strike continues at some places even as water and sewage treatment plants have been paralysed. Farmers were the first victims as power cuts were enforced from 6 a.m. to 7 p.m., and they were not able to draw water through pumps to irrigate fields. Night supply was discontinued to the agriculture sector ever since power generation started plummeting.

Residents of apartment complexes were facing water scarcity. Senior citizens had to climb steps huffing and puffing, as elevators did not function. Most colleges are located in apartment-type buildings with very poor ventilation.

Business community was also not spared as sales came down by 50 per cent in most sectors, while their chance to cash in on Dasara festivities was also lost. The entertainment sector was also hit, with television sets not working and several cinema halls shutting down.

While the common man has been inconvenienced, they seem to have taken it in their stride, as they believe that the agitation is for keeping the State united. But, how long will they be able to bear all this is the million-dollar question.

Sumit Bhattacharjee



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