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Rural artisans, fish farmers hit hard

Special Correspondent
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Armed personnel keeping vigil at a substation in Eluru on Tuesday. —Photo: A.V.G. Prasad
Armed personnel keeping vigil at a substation in Eluru on Tuesday. —Photo: A.V.G. Prasad

The power shutdown being enforced by the Vidyut JAC for Samaikyandhra for the last two days as part of an indefinite strike has taken a heavy toll on industrial activity in the district.

Power went off at 11.30 a.m. on Tuesday after being restored late the previous night. Supply was restored again at 6.30 p.m. with frequent interruptions.

The blackout has badly hit the water supply system all over the district. Gram panchayats are pumping water from borewells to fill overhead tanks with generators during the blackout period. Water is being supplied to households soon after restoration of power.

Municipalities are providing water to people in eight municipal towns in the district in a single shift unlike two shifts in the normal course because of constraints in power supply.

Consequently, residents faced acute water shortage in all municipal towns. Public taps, located mostly in slums, were witnessing near-stampede scenes as people with empty pots kept flooding them for a pail of water.

As if making matters worse, the production of filtered water was badly hit in all manufacturing units for want a regular power supply.

In effect, the units found it difficult to meet the increasing demand for filtered water. Ice factories came to a grinding halt and the subsequent low production of ice pushed the aqua products, perishable in nature, into a serious trouble. Farmers were being forced to defer harvest of fish and prawn produces for want of ice for transport to the markets.

Rural artisans were badly affected by the power shutdown. Carpenters, tailors, blacksmiths, and others failed to power their machines and lost earnings in the last two days.

The Vidyut JAC members enforced the strike by persuading the contract workers out of the sub stations. Armed police were posted at all the substations as a measure to prevent attacks from unruly elements in the guise of agitation.

Train commuters were in for untold miseries in view of the reported confusion prevailing over operation of trains.

Railway authorities were reported to have announced cancellation of five long-distance express trains for want of power and later reversed their decision.

In the meantime, several passengers who cancelled their tickets in the last minute, were seen indulging in heated arguments with the railway personnel in the main railway station.

The strike by Vidyut JAC was felt with non-stop drones of generators from different institutions and even temples round the day all over the district.


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