Hyderabad: Various parts of Andhra Pradesh will continue to remain dark as employees of the power sector in coastal Andhra and Rayalaseema regions of Andhra Pradesh said they will continue with their indefinite strike as talks with the government to end the stalemate failed late on Tuesday.
Chief Minister Kiran Kumar Reddy will hold another round of talks with the Electricity Employees Joint Action committee on Wednesday.
Nearly 30,000 employees of AP Power Generation Corporation, AP Power Transmission Corporation, AP Southern Power Distribution Company and AP Eastern Power Distribution Company the power sectors have not reported for work to protest Centre's decision on bifurcation of the state. Another, 20,000 contract workers have joined the strike throwing the entire power generation and distribution system in 13 Seemaandhra districts out of gear for the past two days.
Meanwhile, YSR Congress Chief Jagan Reddy's hunger strike has now entered the fifth day. His mother and the party's honourary president Vijayamma is scheduled to meet the President and is expected to request him to reconsider the decision on Telangana. TDP chief Chandrababu Naidu is also continuing his fast in the national capital.
The Centre has made it clear that there won't be a rethink on the decision taken by the Cabinet.
AP DGP Dinesh Reddy, who was denied extension, has triggered a fresh row accusing the chief minister of fuelling the anti-bifurcation agitation. "I want to ask the people of this state how safe they feel when the chief minister has set his personal agenda higher than the law and order situation. This is an honest opinion of a DGP who is known for his impeccable track record and integrity and has been very badly humiliated and stabbed in the back," Reddy said.
The Electricity Employees Joint Action Committee, that held second round of talks with Chief Minister N Kiran Kumar Reddy for over two hours in the night, refused to heed his advice and decided to continue the strike, which is part of the agitation against proposed division of the state. "We have met the chief minister and he requested us to take back the strike. we will meet and decide but for now our agitation will conitue," said an employee in the power department.
Highly-placed sources in the State Energy Department, however, said they were "managing" things with the available power and ensuring that the southern power grid was not affected because of the strike. "There is no problem to the grid as of now. We will see it doesn't collapse," a top department official said.
Prior to the strike, AP was getting 11,000 MW, both from the generating stations in he State and outside sources.
Now, the available power has dropped to 8,500 MW, resulting in power blackout in coastal Andhra and Rayalaseema besides disruption in supply to Hyderabad city.
(with additional inputs from PTI)