Saturday, Sep 06, 2003
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By Our Special Correspondent
Hyderabad, Sept. 5. The Government will continue the operation of hydel stations at Srisailam and Nagarjunasagar "judiciously using the limited storages available depending on the peak demand requirement.''
Talking to reporters here today, the Energy Minister, K. Subbarayudu, said many thermal stations, including some private ones, had gone on outage for annual maintenance works or due to some technical problems, causing a deficit of 6 million units per day. Added to this, the output by hydel sources which would have been around 25-30 mu per day by this time of the season, slumped to mere 10-12 mu per day. The Minister said the grid, however, was able to meet the demand by disciplining the system with several measures. The Srisailam and Nagarjunasagar stations were being harnessed only during peak hours (4.30 to 7 am and 6 pm to 10 pm) depending on the situation. The output by them was not exceeding 4 mu per day.
Police detain two Cong. leaders
By Our Staff Reporter
To protest against the arrests and detaining of vehicles, the farmers staged a rasta roko on the Kurnool-Guntur highway and held up traffic to a distance of two km. Police shifted the arrested leaders to a undisclosed destination. Earlier, the police held talks with the farmers' leaders and said they would not allow any kind of demonstration at the powerhouse. Police seized the vehicles which were carrying farmers.
The police rushed additional troops to Atmakur town to deal with the situation arising out of the agitation.
The Gospadu ZPTC, Prahlad Reddy, was also held along with the two leaders.
Earlier, farmers, who gathered at Pothireddypadu head regulator on Friday, headed towards Srisailam after a demonstration with the intention of storming the powerhouse to force stopping of power generation. The leaders advanced their arrival at Srisailam fearing arrests if they start on September 7 when they planned the demonstration.
A large number of farmers from the Nandyal, Atmakur and Velugodu areas assembled at the SRMC head regulator with idea of rendering shramadan to complete the approach channel work early. The work was in progress at the regulator by the contractor. However, the leaders -- SPY Reddy, and Ms. Shilpa Mohan Reddy -- deployed their machines and men to supplement the efforts of the contractor. They contended that any delay in completion of work before the water level rose to 841 ft would seriously affect the drawing capacity of the SRMC.
After the meeting, the farmers and leaders altered their plan and decided to advance their programme at Srisailam. They argued that there was no point in digging canals when the Government was bent upon releasing water to downstream projects from the Srisailam reservoir on the pretext of power generation. The farmers too compelled the leaders to advance their march to Srisailam.
The infrastructure of the Nandi group of companies, owned by Mr. SPY Reddy's family, came in handy to support the struggle. Several excavators, tractors and tippers were brought to the head regulator for speeding up the work. The farmers were served Nandi rotti-pappu (jowar roti and dal) for breakfast and later lunch.
Meanwhile, irrigation officials who visited the spot on Friday were believed to have asked the contractor to speed up the work. If he was not in a position to deploy extra machinery, he was advised to employ the machines offered by farmers' activists and pay them charges. The Joint Collector, Ramsankar Naik, and the RDO, Suryaprakash, visited the site to advise the protesters that it was not proper to disturb the work.
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