Bhubaneswar: In tandem with the Indian Railways decision to cancel all train services, barring the freight carrying ones, till March 31, Odisha government on Sunday announced cancellation of inter-state bus services till further orders.
Informing this important policy decision in his regular press briefing, the state government's chief Covid-19 spokesperson, Subroto Bagchi, said, "Odisha government has taken a policy decision today to suspend all inter-state bus services from 11 AM tomorrow (Monday). The suspension of the services will stay in force till further orders".
However, Bagchi has made it crystal clear that there is no embargo on intra-state and inter-state cargo movement in Odisha.
He said, "During the lockdown period, there is no restriction on seamless movement of freight carrying vehicles in Odisha. And for monitoring and smooth facilitation of movement of goods into & within the State, a state-level monitoring unit (SLMU) on goods & services has been constituted with immediate effect". The SLMU is headed by Principal Secretary Water Resources, Surendra Kumar.
Bagchi reiterated that the State government will not allow any adverse impact of lockdown on supply of goods and services in the State.
Once again displaying his skill as a great spokesperson, the Chairperson of Odisha Skill Development Authority, Subroto Bagchi, uses a real-world example to drive home the significance of lockdown in Odia socio-religious history.
Quoting the Madala Panji, Bagchi said, "When there is a curiosity in the State about the 8-day long lockdown imposed by State government, people need to recall that Lord Jagannath had also endured lockdown for a high of 144-long years. The Lord had faced as many as 22 lockdowns, whenever a threat existed from outside enemy".
He then extended the analogy to the present day context and likened the lethal novel coronavirus, an unknown enemy from outside. It needs mentioning here that Covid-19 has its origin in Wuhan, China.
As per the information provided, the number of foreign returnees registering in the newly launched Covid-19 portal has increased to 3,474 today.