Seemandhra employees of power utilities, who wanted to go on an indefinite strike from Wednesday midnight against the Centre’s move to divide the State, toned down their protest at the last minute and restricted it to only 72 hours.
They have also decided to exempt staff, involved in supply of power to essential services like hospitals, milk and water supply, railways and agriculture, from the strike. The employees, who were adamant on going ahead with an indefinite strike, changed their stand after the intervention of Chief Minister N Kiran Kumar Reddy.
The Chief Minister, who invited leaders of the Seemandhra Joint Action Committee of power utilities for talks, advised them to tone down their protest since disruption of power generation and distribution would cause a great deal of inconvenience to the people.
The leaders had earlier held talks with APTransco chairman and managing director Suresh C and APGENCO managing director K Vijayanand. “We have taken this decision on the suggestion of our Chief Minister N Kiran Kumar Reddy who told us that strike would cause inconvenience. We saw reason in his argument but to tell the Centre that we want Samaikyandhra, we have decided to continue our strike, though with less severity. After 72 hours, we will sit together and decide whether to continue the strike,” a leader of the Seemandhra employees of power utilities said.
The leaders said Kiran Reddy had asked them to consider the woes of the people in Seemandhra region who have been suffering on account of agitations, bandhs, closure of schools and lack of transport facilities for more than 40 days ever since the Centre announced its T decision.
“The Chief Minister asked us to understand how our strike would add to the woes of the people,” a leader of the employees said. As the employees have decided to exempt essential services, there might not be much dislocation in power supply. In other words, the staff of power generation stations would assume duty as also those who are involved in supplying power to emergency services.