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Powering the powerless

Photo: C.V. Subrahmanyam

Samudrala Srinivas, a handicapped man from Bhimadolu in West Godavari district.

Samudrala Srinivas, a handicapped youth hailing from Tadepalligudem, had purchased five acres of agricultural land at Bhimadolu in January 2004. There is a borewell and power connection for the land. Recently, he went to the electricity authorities concerned to get the power connection transferred on his name.

However, the APTransco officials ruled out the possibility of transferring the power connection and even threatened to withdraw the same. The Chief Minister's visit to Visakhapatnam turned out to be a boon for him.

"When I intended to purchase the land, the power supply was withdrawn as the original owner had not been paying the bills. I bought the land only after he paid the bills and the supply was restored. I gave him the money and got the land registered in my name," says Mr. Srinivas, who is employed as a superintendent at the Prema Hospital.

"The Transco officials claim that the power connection was removed in 2002 as the owner hadn't paid the bills. When told that the supply was restored, they admitted that some amount was paid, but threatened to disconnect the service on flimsy grounds. They further threatened to book a case of cheating against me on the ground that I was drawing power unauthorisedly," he says.

Srinivas suspects foul-play by the electricity employees who had collected the arrears but were threatening to withdraw the connection. The frequent disruption of power supply during the last season has resulted in destruction of the maize crop, he says.

Mr. Srinivas poured out his tale of woe to the Chief Minister, Y.S. Rajasekhara Reddy, during the Rajiv Nagara Palle Baata and lamented that withdrawal of power supply at this stage would result in the destruction of crop.

Dr. Reddy told the youth that the Transco authorities were not entitled to remove the connection. He asked the youth to submit a representation to the West Godavari Collector at the Spandana programme for transfer of the power connection in his name, if the Transco people attempted to remove the connection.

B.M.G.

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