Telangana agitation starts hurting industry

M. Somasekhar Amit Mitra Hyderabad | Updated on September 22, 2011

Mounting losses: A passerby at the Mahatma Gandhi Bus Station at Imliban inHyderabad on Thursday as the APSTRC buses did not move out for the fifth daydue to the strike by RTC staff who have joined the ’Sakalajanula Samme ( generalstrike ) for Telangana, paralysing public transport. — P.V. Sivakumar

Strike enters 10th day

Power cuts have become normal. Educational institutes are closed. Attendance at IT companies is thinning. Hotels are showing very little activity. The general business and economic activity has slowed down.

These are typical facets of Hyderabad and its environs now, a city which not long ago was the most happening place.

Bringing this change in recent times has been the general strike for a separate State of Telangana, which entered the tenth day today.

IT, power, hospitality, education, retail, public transport have taken the brunt of the hit, translating the fallout into hardships for the common man.

Power situation

The plummeting coal output from the Singareni Colleries, which in turn is starving the NTPC's Ramagundem Power station as well as the State Power Generation Corporation(APGENCO), has forced the Government to impose two hour power cut in the city, while in rural areas, its worse.

The power supply in State was 245 MU (million units) against demand of 259 MU.

SCCL today produced just 20,000 tonnes (normal is 1.5 lakh tonnes) with its Manuguru mines totally out.

Out of this only 10,000 could be despatched due to road blockades.

As an alternative the Kiran Kumar Reddy Government is making arrangements to get coal from other miners and buy power from neighbouring States.

All together 1165 MW of power has been tied up for purchase.

The Government is also trying strong arm tactics of threatening to cut salaries of Government employees striking work and using police and private workers to handle certain functions.

Small industries hit

Industry associations like the FAPCCI put the daily loss to industry in several hundred crores.

Individual industries are just grappling with ways to handle the everyday challenge posed by a range of strikes resorted to by different sections of the people (Sakala Janula Samme).

If it is State Government employees striking work on one day, its the Transport Corporation buses off roads on another.

An IT industry source said the small and medium companies are the worst affected with attendance falling to under 50 per cent in some, as they lacked own transport.

Even the old city of Hyderabad, where it was business as usual in strikes and bandhs called for by the pro-separatist groups in the past two years, has started feeling the heat this time around, with drop in business due to transport affecting movement of people and businesses.

Published on September 22, 2011

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