Six-hour Congress bandh against fuel price hike affects normal life in Odisha
Suresh Kumar Routray and other leaders arrived at the Congress office on bicycles in protest against the frequent hike in petrol and diesel prices
BHUBANESWAR: The six-hour Odisha bandh called by the Congress in protest against the unprecedented hike in fuel prices hit normal life in the state.
While schools and colleges remained closed, shops and business establishments also downed their shutters. Vehicular traffic was most affected in many parts of the state with state run OSRTC and private buses remaining off the roads. Government offices, however, remained open with thin attendance as the bandh enforcers erected road blocks at many places particularly in the capital.
Lok Seva Bhawan in the capital was covered under a thick security blanket to avoid any untoward incident. Police personnel were also deployed in other important stretches like AG Square, Station Square, among others.
Train services were also affected as Congress workers staged a rail roko at many places. Congress workers led by legislator Suresh Kumar Routray staged a rail roko at the Bhubaneswar railway station and stopped the Lokamanya Tilak Express. Passengers arriving at the railway station faced a tough time to return to their destinations as most of the auto-rickshaws parked there remained off the road.
Congress workers blocked the national highway 16 near Satsang Vihar at Bhubaneswar. A number of heavy vehicles including truck swere lined up on the road. In the capital, Youth Congress workers took out bike rallies in various parts including at Station Square. A car was attacked in front of the Congress office in the city by the protestors but the driver managed to escape unhurt. National Highway-26 was also blocked by the protestors in Jeypore and demonstrations were held in various parts of the state like Balasore, Kendrapara, Rourkela, Biramitrapur, Paralakhemundi, Berhampur, among others.
The bandh call was also given in protest against the government’s inaction in protecting the rights of the state in Mahanadi river water dispute with Chhattisgarh, growing crime against women, increasing number of political killings and other issues.
OPCC president Niranjan Patnaik said in the last seven years, the government has done very little for the marginalized sections of society. “The Centre is lowering corporate taxes but it is not waiving taxes on fuel. Both the Centre and the state government should reduce taxes on fuel,” he added.
Suresh Kumar Routray and other leaders arrived at the Congress office on bicycles in protest against the frequent hike in petrol and diesel prices. "The prices of diesel, petrol and LPG have increased which is creating problems for the youths and farmers of the state. The prices of fuel should be immediately reduced," Routray said.