Andhra Pradesh is on the verge of an economic crisis as the strike by miners of Singareni Collieries to press for Telangana is threatening to create a power scarcity in the state.
And the problem posed by the strike is compounded by the general shutdown for the third consecutive day in 10 districts in support of Telangana.Chief minister N Kiran Kumar Reddy appealed to employees to call off the shutdown. However, Telangana Joint Action Committee chairman M Kodandaram on Thursday called upon the people to intensify the strike.
State-owned power distribution companies have imposed unscheduled power cuts ranging from two to three hours all over Andhra Pradesh as power generation came down by more than 30% due to the coal shortage arising out of the strike.
"We are generating only 1,400 MW as against our normal production of 2,600 MW. Unless we get fresh supplies by that time, we may have to shut down the Ramagundam plant," an NTPC official said.
Singareni sources said the loss on account of the strike was around R25 crore. Other southern states and Maharashtra are also affected by the strike.
Similarly, the coal-based power plants operated by AP Genco in Kothagudem and Bhoopalapalli, both in Telangana, are on the verge of closure.
The state government is trying to offset the crisis to some extent by increasing generation at the hydel units at Srisailam and Nagarjunasagar.
Federation of Andhra Pradesh Chamber of Commerce and Industry (FAPCCI) sources said the general shutdown and the power strike could result in a production loss worth Rs 250-300 crore every day.
"Periodic strikes have completely ruined business sentiment. The state will see flight of capital if a solution to the issue is not found quickly," an entrepreneur said.