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Gaya gets more power

Gaya, Dec. 27: Moved by today’s bandh, called by Vidhyut Upbhokta Sangharsh Samiti, Bihar State Electricity Board (BSEB) pressed panic buttons and hiked Gaya’s share of power.

The BSEB promised a minimum supply of 30MW, against the 10MW (and less) power being supplied for the past months to the town.

Today the samiti bandh brought life to a standstill with tourists and visitors stranded at the Gaya bypass and places in the town’s outskirts.

Senior police officers had to intervene to ensure that tourists were allowed to proceed. The bandh sponsors, too, were sensitive towards their plight.

The bandh was called after talks between district magistrate Jitendra Srivastava and samiti chief Bheem Singh failed. Singh is also the chief of the Gaya Bar Association.

During talks, the DM had reminded Singh of the “assurance” given by Magadh board’s general manager Mohammad Yaqub promising a minimum availability of 30MW, as against the requirement of 40MW.

Today’s bandh would be remembered for its spontaneity, as the organisers did not have to resort to any pressure tactics to ensure its success.

In a rare show of solidarity, petrol dealers joined in the protests. The wholesale, as well as retail markets, were closed down. But no report of trouble was received during the bandh. The samiti has also planned to protest when chief minister Nitish Kumar visits the town on December 30, 2007.

The increased allocation has gone down well with the business community.

According to one of the leaders of the Central Bihar Chamber of Commerce, the Nitish Kumar government has shown its sensitivity by increasing power while similar agitation went unnoticed during the previous regime.

But some people, such as activist S.B. Bhaskar, has expressed their apprehension that the increased power may be withdrawn after the chief minister’s visit.

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