How Effective Will 'Bharat Bandh' Be On Wednesday?

08 January 2019


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Bhubaneswar: The Bharat Bandh today could be addressed as ‘total’, as public transport, railways, daily markets and day to day activities were adversely affected across the State.

With the first day of the Trade Unions’ strike coming to an end in the evening, it is unlikely that complete normalcy would be restored on Wednesday.

The State Government has asked the Collectors to assess the situation in their respective districts and take a call on keeping the schools, colleges and universities open or close.

Till last reports came, administraion of the following districts declared holiday for schools on Wednesday: Balasore, Bolangir, Cuttack, Jajpur, Jagatsinghpur, Kandhamal, Keonjhar, Kendrapada, Khurda, Nuapada, Puri, Sambalpur and Sundergarh.

OMMCOM NEWS spoke to office bearers of service providers associations over their response to the Bandh on Wednesday.

There were no passengers in the major bus stands across the State on Tuesday. There was a lull everywhere, said Odisha Private Bus Association General Secretary, Debendra Sahu.

“The buses will be there at the stands but we will assess the situation depending on the number of passengers turning out. If the numbers are low the private buses will not move on Wednesday,” Sahu said.

Utkal Petroleum Dealers Association General Secretary, Sanjay Lath said that the petrol pumps in all urban centres of the State were shutdown on Tuesday. “If we observe that there is no activity outdoors, and the picketers are out, we will be forced to keep the petrol stations closed,” Lath said.

However, by the evening, all the petrol pumps were opened on Tuesday. Similarly, even if there is a total bandh on Wednesday, after 6 pm, the petrol pumps will be opened, he added.

Odisha Baybasayai Mahasangha General Secretary, Sudhakar Panda said that the State will be losing a whopping Rs 5,000 crore of business in trading of essential commodities over these two days of Bharat Bandh.

"The transport sector has been heavily impacted due to the bandh. The small traders who are willing to open their shops are backing off fearing an untoward incident," Panda added.

Odisha Workers' Welfare Board Chairman, Subash Singh said that the Bandh was successful on Tuesday and it will be continue in the same manner on Wednesday.

"We are supporting the Bandh which has been successful on the first day. Those who are saying that the bandh failed, are not connected to the reality. It was a call for raising the workers' issues which received huge support from citizens across the country. It is a 48-hour bandh which will continue till Wednesday," Singh added.

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Debendra Sahu, General Secretary, Private Bus Owners’ Association, Odisha

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Sanjay Lath, General Secretary, Utkal Petroleum Dealers Association

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Subash Singh, Workers' Welfare Board Chairman, Odisha

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Sudhakar Panda, General Secretary, Odisha Byabasai Mahansangh