Bandh Against Polavaram Bill Passes Off Smoothly in Telangana

Hyderabad:  A day-long Telangana bandh called today in protest against the passage of a Bill in Lok Sabha to transfer some mandals of the newly-created state to Andhra Pradesh to aid the construction of the Polavaram project went off peacefully, police said.

Normal life in most parts of the state was affected by the bandh called by the Left parties and the Telangana Joint Action Committee (which spearheaded the separate statehood movement), supported by TRS and Congress parties.

"We have not received any reports of untoward incidents.

Nobody was arrested or taken into custody," Inspector General (North Zone), Ravi Gupta said.

Most educational institutions in capital Hyderabad and other important cities of the state remained closed.

T-JAC representatives and political party workers burnt an effigy of the Central Government at RTC Cross roads in the city.

T-JAC chairman Prof Kodandaram said that the Centre was trying to suppress the rights of tribal people by passing the Bill.

Reports indicated that Khammam district, where the seven mandals are located, observed complete bandh with representatives of all parties coming on to the roads in the morning to enforce the bandh.

A South Central Railway spokesperson said there was no disturbance to rail services in the region, including the Multi-Modal Transport System (MMTS) in Hyderabad.

A spokesperson of State Road Transport Corporation said the total bus services in the state were affected by 20 per cent.

There was a total Bandh in Waranagal with the closure of petrol stations, banks and other establishments.

Dharnas, rasta roko and protest rallies were held in different parts of the state demanding the Centre Government to revise its decision.

The Bandh in Karimnagar district was peaceful said, V Shivakumar, SP of the district.

Criticising the passage of Andhra Pradesh Reorganisation (Amendment) Bill in Lok Sabha yesterday, CPI (M) Telangana Secretary Thamineni Veerabhadram alleged that interests of big investors was being served in the name of protecting farmers of Andhra Pradesh.

The said Bill paves the way for transfer of some villages of Khammam district of Telangana to Andhra Pradesh and replaces an earlier ordinance.

It was passed amidst protests by TRS, BJD and other parties.

TRS, the ruling party in Telangana, is vehemently opposed to the transfer of villages.

CPI(M) and other Left parties, too, are opposed to the multi-purpose project, saying it would lead to submergence of tribal habitations.

Telangana chief minister K Chandrasekhar Rao has strongly criticised the BJP-led NDA government over the legislation, calling it "undemocratic and unethical".

The long-pending irrigation-cum-hydel power generation project, spread over several districts and envisaged more than three decades back, has been given national status, meaning it will have the Centre's financial backing and facilitation.

The multi-crore project, which also seeks to provide water for drinking and industrial purposes, is to come up in Polavaram mandal of Andhra Pradesh's West Godavari district.

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