Pradeep Pattanayak

Odisha government on Tuesday declared the day following Nuakhai as a special local holiday for Sambalpur and Bargarh districts. 

In a letter, Joint secretary to the government Madhusmita Sahoo asked the Revenue Divisional Commissioner (ND) to announce the day after Nuakhai festival i.e. September 2 (Friday) as a special local holiday. 

“I am directed to invite a reference to your letter No 384/Res dated 30.08.2022 on the above-noted subject and to say that Government has been pleased to authorize you to declare Special Holiday for the day following Nuakhai i.e on 02.09.2022 (Friday) for Sambalpur and Bargarh district for the calendar year, 2022,” read the letter. 

Notably, a lot of people from western Odisha including activists of Koshal Sena had been demanding an extension of the public holiday during Nuakhai as in the Odisha government holiday list, only the day of the festival is mentioned as the holiday. They had demanded that the one-day holiday for Nuakhai should be increased to two or three days.

Demanding extension of Nuakhai holiday, leader of opposition Jayanarayan Mishra had earlier shot off a letter to Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik, urging him to declare a two-day-long state-level holiday for the mass festival. The same demand had also been reiterated by senior Congress leader Narasingha Mishra. 

Even BJD leader Kalikesh Singhdeo had also demanded that the period of the holiday should be three days, instead of two days. 

Earlier on Monday, the State government had announced that the banks will remain closed on September 1 on the occasion of Nuakhai festival.