Seemandhra electricity employees defer strike

Hyderabad, Sep 11 (IANS) The electricity employees of Seemandhra regions of Andhra Pradesh Wednesday agreed to postpone their indefinite strike till Sep 16, following an appeal by Chief Minister N. Kiran Kumar Reddy.

Over 30,000 electricity employees in Seemandhra, as Rayalaseema and coastal Andhra regions are collectively known, had threatened to go on strike from Wednesday midnight to protest the proposed bifurcation of the state.

Leaders of Seemandhra electricity employees' Joint Action Committee (JAC) agreed to defer their plans following a meeting with the chief minister in the evening.

The chief minister appealed to them to reconsider their decision in view of the inconvenience their strike would cause to the people.

The JAC had earlier served strike notices on Andhra Pradesh Generation Corporation (Apgenco), Andhra Pradesh Transmission Corp (Aptransco) and various distribution companies.

They were to join over six lakh government employees and teachers who are on indefinite strike from Aug 13, demanding Congress Working Committee (CWC) to withdraw its decision to carve out separate Telangana state.

ApgGenco and Aptransco chairmen and managing directors had earlier appealed to the employees to reconsider their decision.

The proposed strike by electricity employees threatened to affect power generation and transmission in all three regions of the state but also hit the southern grid as all four southern states - Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Kerala and Tamil Nadu - are interlinked.

Seemandhra accounts for the bulk of power generation in the state. It has two major thermal power plants and two hydel power plants.

The protests against CWC's July 30 decision continued in 13 districts of Seemandhra for 43rd day Wednesday. The strike has paralysed the state administration while the buses of state-owned Andhra Pradesh State Road Transport Corp remained off the roads. All government-run educational institutions are also shut.

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