SAMBALPUR: Hundreds of aggrieved farmers simultaneously blocked National and State highways passing through Western Odisha on Friday in response to the bandh call given by Paschim Odisha Krushak Sangathan Samanwaya Samiti (POKSSS). They were protesting the alleged lackadaisical attitude of the State Government towards farmers and agriculture sector following farmer deaths due to crop loss and loan burden.
In Sambalpur, farmers blocked NH-6 at Baraipali, Sindurpank, Jayantpur and Goshala, NH-55 at Maneswar, State Highway (SH) 10 at Majhipali, SH-15 at Sahaspur, besides other roads in Sambalpur district.
Similarly in Bargarh district, the agitators blocked NH-6 at Rengali camp, Sohela and Patharla besides all connecting roads to the 12 block headquarters.
In Jharsuguda district, farmers blocked SH 10 at Badmal and Durlaga, while NH-49 was blocked at two places in Deogarh town and Barkote and NH-53 was blocked at Tileibani and NH-200 at Remal.
The agitation by the farmers under the banner of POKSSS will conclude with a massive convention from the region in February.
Similar agitations were staged in Sundargarh, Balangir, Kalahandi, Sonepur and Boudh districts but no such blockade was staged in Nuapada district.
The road blockade is part of a three-phase agitation called by POKSSS on December 4 over their 12-point charter of demands, said POKSSS spokesperson Saroj.