Day 25 and not a solution in sight. With a loss of over Rs 14000 crore, there seems to be no end to the Telangana agitation. Although it was quieter in the past couple of days due to the festival, the days ahead look tough since the ongoing Telangana Joint Action Committee has already decided that it would conducted a rail rokho programme between October 9 to 11th.
The second leg of the agitation is going to be even worse with the Telangana activists deciding to cut off Telangana from the rest of the regions. This would be a high impact agitation since major roads will be blocked, the production of coal will suffer further and neighbouring states depending on Telangana for rice and sugar will be affected further.
Telangana activists and members of the Joint Action Committee say that the protest at Singareni has had an impact on the neighbouring states especially Karnataka where power supply is concerned. This means that another state has taken note of our protest and they in turn will protest which only makes the issue bigger. We intend to do the same and would want to ensure that the rest of Andhra bears the brunt of this protest. There is already a deficit of 56 million units of power in the state and this problem has spilled over the neighbouring states where complains have already begun. If the protests continue this way then it wont be too long before the farming community starts to bear the brunt of the protest. The government has already planned 6 hour power cuts in the Telangana region. However it is only a matter of time before the government will have to take some concrete action since the daily losses due to this part of the strike is around Rs 25 crore.
So far 10000 buses have stopped plying and the State Road Transport Corporation is already complaining that it has been losing nearly Rs 8 crore a day. The scenario among the private bus owners is also very bad and they run the risk of plying their vehicles in Telangana since at some places the protests have turned violent. The police personnel too have said that private buses would be plying in the Telangana region at their own risk as it is impossible to provide security to each and every vehicle that enters into the region.
Telangana activists say that the losses are mounting but the government continues to remain adamant. The Telangana region has not seen any governance in the past 25 days and this has resulted in a loss of Rs 200 crore per day.Hyderabadis the capital of the state and it remains shut with most of the employees staying away from work and this is causing the government a Rs 200 crore loss per day. Accordng to the Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry of India the loss in the first 15 days of the strike was Rs 10000 crore. Now with a rail rokho coming up the losses are expected to shoot up further.
Some activists are of the opinion that K Chandrasekara Rao could have done better in this agitation. He has gone toDelhiand done nothing. Instead he should sit inHyderabadand interact with the protestors. Our next line of protest would be to cut Telangana off from the rest of the country. Many states will bear the brunt of such a protest. The people of Telangana too will suffer but they say that they are ready to bear this brunt.
The basic idea of this protest in the second phase would be to ensure that people from other states too sit up and take notice. As of now the losses and the problems have been restricted to Andhra Pradesh alone, but if other states start to get involved in this then the solution would come sooner. If Telangana is cut off then the problems are immense. The connectivity betweenBangaloreandNagpurgets cut off since no transportation would be available on this route since it has to go through Telangana.Vijayawadawhich is also a major business centre also gets cut off since the route to Mahrashtra is again throughHyderabadwhich is in Telangana.
In addition to this there would be a major impact on the export of rice and sugar. Rice production is the highest in Karimnagar which falls under Telangana and if this region is cut off then there cannot be any export of rice. Similarly sugar too is produced extensively in Nizambad again under Telangana and this agitation will affect the export of sugar too. Thanks to this there would be a shortage of rice and sugar in the neighbouring states which rely on Telangana for the same.
However the people of Andhra will be the most affected since this strike would cut them off from the Telangana region. Many from the rest of Andhra Pradesh have business interests especially inHyderabadand cutting off all communication would have a direct impact on them. Their major connectivity is throughHyderabadand the closure of these routes will affect them severely. However the people of Telangana too will bear the brunt of this protest since they depend heavily on other parts for their essential commodities. However as of now they claim that they can manage since they will learn to be self sufficient and for now manage with rice and pickle in order to survive. The activists say that they have prepared the people for this second leg of the protest and the people are up to the task.