National

Bandh affects normal life in coastal AP dists

Our Bureau Visakhapatnam | Updated on August 13, 2013 Published on August 13, 2013

Normal life came to a standstill on Tuesday in the city and other coastal towns such as Kakinada, Rajahmundry, Eluru, Vijayawada, Guntur and Ongole, as a bandh was observed in response to the call given by the joint action committee agitating for preserving the unity of Andhra Pradesh (samaikhyandhra JAC).

The Government employees went on an indefinite strike from Monday midnight and the Andhra Pradesh State Road Transport Corporation (APSRTC) staff in these districts also responded to the strike call. Buses went off the road.

Shops, schools, banks and commercial establishments remained closed in response to the bandh call given by the JAC. The bandh was by and large peaceful, though a few minor incidents were reported.

The AP NGO leaders said they would continue the strike till the Congress Party reconsiders its decision to bifurcate the state. The demands for the resignations of Congress ministers in the Union Cabinet and Congress MPs and opposition MPs from the coastal districts and Rayalaseema also grew more vociferous.

The production in the small and medium industrial units here and in other places also came to a standstill on Tuesday, as the workers either stayed away or could not reach the factories due to the bandh.

However, according to the authorities, the work at the Visakhapatnam port, the Visakhapatnam steel plant and other public sector units here such as the BHPV and the Hindusthan Shipyard was not affected by the bandh. The workers and employees, however, found it difficult to reach the offices and factories.

The bandh was total in Kakinada town and the work at the old port of Kakinada was halted, as the workers responded to the strike call. The work at the new deep water port was also affected due to the bandh.

D. Surya Rao, the president of the Cocanada Chamber of Commerce, said the trade and the workers at the port responded to the bandh call voluntarily, as the issue was a serious one.

"We witnessed this kind of popular upsurge in the nineteen fifties when Andhra state was formed in response to the public demand after the martyrdom of Potti Sriramulu. Sixty years later, we are seeing it again to protect that state, Samaikhyandhra. I think the Congress party and the Union Government should relent now and reconsider the decision to bifurcate the State, if they have any regard for public opinion," he said.

sarma.rs@thehindu.co.in

Published on August 13, 2013
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