Andhra woman gives birth under torch light as hospital sees 8-hour power cut

Several members of the opposition Telugu Desam Party (TDP), including former Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu took to social media to highlight the issue.
Visuals from the Andhra hospital after the power cut
Visuals from the Andhra hospital after the power cut
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Doctors at a government hospital in Andhra Pradesh’s Narsipatnam, in the newly-formed Anakapalli district, had to perform a delivery under cell phone lights and candles due to a power cut that lasted for several hours. The incident took place on Wednesday, April 6 at the NTR Government Hospital, which saw a power cut that lasted for nearly eight hours. A video of the incident also shows a woman sitting under candle and torch light with a new-born baby.

While the power cut affected several patients at the hospital, other videos showed people fanning infants with their hands. “It's such a big hospital but there are no facilities. Even the generator broke down it seems. It's like hell inside with no ventilation and lots of mosquitoes. There are not even minimum facilities,” an attendant of a patient said.

Speaking to TNM, Ramesh Kishore, Visakhapatnam District Coordinator Hospital Services (DCHS), said that officials had inquired into the incident concerning the hospital at Narsipatnam. “The hospital functioned on a diesel inverter generator for a few hours. After remaining on for a long time, it broke down. Diesel was also unavailable. So there was no power for a while. They managed to complete the delivery in spite of that, since there was nothing else they could do. This morning (April 7), technicians from Visakhapatnam visited and fixed the generator. I advised them to also keep emergency lights handy,” he said.

“In many places across the state, there was a power cut yesterday (April 6). We are seeing prolonged power cuts in the outskirts, like Anakapalle and Narsipatnam too,” he added.

Several members of the opposition Telugu Desam Party (TDP), including former Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu, took to social media to highlight the issue.

In a series of tweets, Naidu shared a video from the hospital and said, “The state of Andhra Pradesh has gone into darkness. People are seeing hell with severe power cuts. People in the villages are being harassed by unauthorised power cuts. What is the Chief Minister's response to the plight of pregnant women and postpartum women in maternity hospitals?”

“Who is responsible for this darkness in our state? Why is there no actual electricity in the state? The threats against the common people who questioned the power cuts should be stopped. The problem should be solved,” he further said, pointing out that the power cuts came even as electricity tariffs in the state were hiked.

Naidu’s son and TDP MLC Nara Lokesh also staged a protest over the issue. He visited areas in Tadepalli in Amaravati and distributed hand fans and candles to the residents on Thursday.

Just last week, opposition parties in Andhra Pradesh on Thursday, March 31, staged state-wide protests against a hike in electricity tariffs announced by the YSRCP government led by Chief Minister YS Jagan Mohan Reddy. TDP) and the Left parties staged dharnas, took out rallies and organised innovative protests demanding a roll back of the hike. The Electricity Regulatory Commission (ERC) on Wednesday issued the Retail Tariff Order for 2022-23, increasing the tariff for domestic consumers. The tariff hike ranges from 45 paise to Rs 1.57 per unit in six different slabs for domestic consumption.

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