BHAWANIPATNA: Normal life was affected in Kalahandi on Wednesday due to the 12-hour shutdown call given by the Opposition Congress protesting the Centre’s alleged bid to shift the proposed rail wagon repair factory from Narla to Visakhapatanam in Andhra Pradesh.
Merchant association, truck and private bus owner associations, different trade unions supported the bandh demanding that the Ministry of Railways must reconsider its decision and allow the project at Narla. The agitators called upon the State Government to mount pressure on the Centre.
Vehicles remained off the road and all shops and business establishments were closed during the bandh. Banking and postal services were also paralysed and works in courts were affected. Due to picketing in front of offices, Government work was affected.
Addressing mediapersons on Monday, the AICC secretary, Bhakta Charan Das alleged lack of sincerity on the part of the State Government, the ruling BJD MPs and the BJP-led NDA Government’s lack of political will for the development of a backward region like Kalahandi.
Bandh over shifting of rail project disrupts life in Kalahandi
The Hindu, April 7, 2016
Normal life was thrown out of gear in Kalahandi district of Odisha on Wednesday as the Opposition Congress observed a day-long bandh in protest against the decision of Indian Railways to shift the proposed rail wagon repair factory to Andhra Pradesh. The proposed factory was to come up at Narla in Kalahandi district of the State.
The bandh received a positive response across Kalahandi as vehicles remained off the roads and business establishments remained closed throughout the day. Congress leaders, workers and their supporters also stopped trains at several locations to enforce the bandh in the morning. Later they staged demonstrations at the district headquarters town of Bhawanipatna and other urban areas to highlight their demand that the proposed factory should come up at Narla as was announced by the Railways in the past.
Senior Congress leader Bhakta Charan Das and other leaders were detained by the police while enforcing the bandh. They were later released.
Talking to The Hindu over phone, Mr. Das said that the party has demanded that the State government pressurise the Centre to change the decision and start the project at Narla. The party also threatens to organise a massive demonstration in front of the East Coast Railway headquarter in Bhubaneswar if the State government fails to convince the Centre.
A large number of people from Kalahandi will participate in the protest demonstration in Bhubaneswar later this month, Mr. Das informed.
Merchants’ association, truck and private bus owner associations and different trade unions supported the bandh.
Police sources added said the bandh affected banking and postal services. Work in courts was also affected.
Due to picketing in front of offices, government work was also affected, the sources said.
Rail traffic was stranded in Narla, Kesinga and Langigarh stations of Kaahandi in Vizyanagaram-Raipur and Sambalpur route.
At many places along the National Highway passing through the Bhawanipatna town, the agitators burnt tyres.
While the Congress blamed both the BJD and BJP over the alleged shifting of the wagon repair factory from Narla, BJP spokesperson Sajan Sharma held the State government responsible for non-implementation of the project since 2013.