Tensions flared up on regional lines when transport department officials of West Godavari seized 26 trucks from Karimnagar, which were transporting granite slabs to the Kakinada port, at a bridge over a canal near Tadepalligudem in West Godavari district on Sunday.
In retaliation, TRS workers held up trucks from the coastal Andhra region which were passing through Karimnagar, Warangal and Medak. However, the issue was sorted out in the evening, easing tensions.
According to officials, trucks from Karimnagar district were transporting granite slabs to the Kakinada port for export. Each lorry was carrying granite weighing 50 tonnes, and the 26 trucks were passing over a canal bridge near Tadepalligudem when transport officials stopped them for routine check. The trucks were seized allegedly following a complaint by former MLA Kottu Satyanarayana that the bridge was creaking under the movement of heavy vehicles. On learning of the incident, a mob led by TRS MLA T Harish Rao from Siddipet obstructed heavy vehicles coming from coastal Andhra at Siddipet in Medak district. Similarly, Karimnagar MLA Gangula Kamalakar and Parkal MLA Bikshapati Goud also obstructed vehicles coming from coastal Andhra in Karimnagar and Warangal districts respectively.
Even as tensions in both the regions rose, Tadepalligudem MLA Eeli Venkata Madhusudana Rao alias Eli Nani telephoned Siddipet MLA Harish Rao that officials of the transport department seized the lorries as part of their duty and it had nothing to do with regional passions. He requested the Telangana legislators not to obstruct vehicles from coastal Andhra but Harish Rao made it clear that they would allow the trucks from Andhra region to proceed only after the vehicles from Telangana were released at Tadepalligudem.
Tensions eased after leaders from both the regions decided to solve the issue amicably and allowed movement of the vehicles in their respective regions.
Harish Rao told mediapersons at Siddipet later that the lorries from Karimnagar took the canal bridge route due to traffic jam on NH-5. He urged the coastal Andhra leaders not to resort to such provocation that would flare up unnecessary tensions.
West Godavari deputy transport commissioner K Venkateswara Rao clarified that the lorries were seized as they were moving with heavy load. “We were not targeting lorries particularly from Telangana districts as alleged by the legislators,” he said.