Launch service from Chitrakonda to cut-off areas was stopped on Wednesday. Suspected Maoists had reportedly threatened the launch operators to stop the service till further orders.
Following this, Balimela dam project officials suspended plying of all six launches between the Spillway ghat and cut-off villages.
Inhabitants of the area were seen stranded at the launch ghat near Chitrakonda as there is no other means of communication to their villages.
Sources said unidentified persons, suspected to be Maoists, appeared at the launch ghat on Tuesday night and asked locals to inform the operators not to ply the launches.
They also threatened the operators of dire consequences if they defied the ‘diktat’. The suspected Maoists also asked all the Government employees deployed in the cut-off region including teachers to suspend work with immediate effect. The reason behind the Maoist ‘diktat’, though, is yet to ascertained.
Collector M Muthukumar, who is in Bhubaneswar to attend meeting of the Election Commission, said he was in touch with the BDO and other officials over the matter.