The power shutdown which began in Seemandhra region Sunday, has cast its effect on five districts under the Eastern Power Distribution Company Limited (EPDCL) since Monday morning. A complete blackout was declared affecting both domestic and commercial consumers severely. Railway and flight operations which have been a major mode of transport ever since the RTC went on strike on August 12, too, suffered due to the power crisis, forcing the passengers to either cancel their travel plans or wait for their turn for several hours.
Higher officials at EPDCL said that they are helpless and cannot supply power without the staff, who are on strike. The staff have reportedly switched off the high tension (HT) power supply lines at the end of their morning shift Monday, and left the premises. Unless the employees of next shift return to duty, electricity cannot be restored, the official said.
The power shutdown began Sunday morning in 13 districts of Seemandhra after the electricity employees’ Joint Action Committee called for an indefinite strike to protest the division of Andhra Pradesh. However, EPDCL region, comprising five districts of Visakhapatnam, Vizianagaram, Srikakulam and the Godavari districts were not affected on the first day. But from Monday morning, the power supply was shutdown completely to all these districts after more unions joined the stir. Over 5,000 employees of EPDCL are on an indefinite strike along with their fellow employees from generation, transmission and distribution companies.
The East Coast Railway has cancelled or short-terminated at least 10 passenger trains, while the express trains were being operated with a delay of about three-four hours due to low voltage. More than 100 diesel engines were readied to pull the express trains.