About 30,000 employees in 13 districts of Seemandhra (Rayalaseema and coastal Andhra) launched the strike from midnight. Another 20,000 contractual workers are also participating in the strike.

The strike is likely to hit generation of 7,196 MW of electricity and may even lead to collapse of the southern grid, which connects four southern states - Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka and Kerala.

The strike already started having its impact on Thursday in different parts of the state. The authorities resorted to three-hour power cuts in parts of Hyderabad. Hours after the Chief Minister's office claimed on Wednesday night that the employees agreed to postpone the strike till September 16, the Joint Action Committee (JAC) of the Seemandhra electricity employees announced they were going on a 72-hour token strike.

The JAC leaders threatened to go on an indefinite strike if the centre goes ahead with the process of formation of Telangana state. They demanded the Congress Working Committee to withdraw its July 30 decision to carve out Telangana.

The electricity employees have exempted emergency services like water supply, hospitals and railways from the strike.

(Agencies)

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