Bringing some much-needed relief,power sector employees in coastal Andhra and Rayalaseema regions of Andhra Pradesh today called off their indefinite strike “temporarily” in view of cyclonic storm Phailan that is expected to hit the Bay of Bengal coast on Friday.
The move has come as a big relief for Seemandhra people who have been hit hard by the power cuts that crippled several parts of Andhra Pradesh over the last five days.
As the AP government negotiated the truce with the employees on strike in coastal Andhra and Rayalaseema regions,the Centre ruled out going back on the decision to create Telangana but gave no indication of timeframe for bifurcating Andhra Pradesh.
Following the move,the power supply is likely to be restored in 13 districts of Andhra Pradesh.
The cyclone heading towards Andhra Pradesh is said to get very severe in the next two days and affect the state as also neighbouring Odisha.
The strike by employees of power distribution companies,which began last week to protest against the decision to create a separate Telangana state,had brought this port and steel city to its knees and the cyclone threat had added to the worries of the Andhra Pradesh government.
Following a request by Chief Minister N Kiran Kumar Reddy,who held a third round of talks with the striking employees at the Secretariat in Hyderabad this afternoon,the Electricity Employees Joint Action Committee agreed to call off the strike and resume duties from tomorrow morning,JAC leader Saibabu said.
“We have not called off our strike completely. It’s only temporary in view of the cyclone threat,” Saibabu told reporters in Hyderabad after the meeting.
The decision was taken to avoid inconvenience to the people,he said. Though he said electricity supply would be restored,immediately power outages were still being reproted.
“We will,however,continue our protests in other forms,” Saibabu added.
The JAC leader said 30,000 regular and 15,000 contract employees in the power sector took part in the indefinite strike.
The strike pushed 13 coastal Andhra and Rayalaseema districts into darkness,affecting movement of trains and emergency services in hospitals besides hampering supply to Hyderabad city.
“I do not think there is any possibility of going back to the decision to create Telangana,” Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde said in reply to questions at his monthly press conference in New Delhi.
Shinde,however,did not commit to whether the Telangana Bill will be tabled during the Winter session of Parliament.
(With PTI inputs)