Angry over the alleged inordinate delay in land acquisition by the Odisha government for the Jeypore-Nabarangpur railway project, the Yuva Morcha of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) launched a 12-hour bandh in Nabarangpur district on Tuesday.
The bandh that started at 6 am this morning will continue till 6 pm.
The protesters alleged, that despite the Centre granting money for the railway project eight years back, the State government has failed to acquire land for the same. It has caused an inordinate delay to the project.
The saffron party also demanded the State government to recognise two of the oldest colleges in the district—Nabarangpur College and Pendrani College at Umerkote as government colleges.
“Railway, water, and industries have been a distant dream for Nabarangpur district till now. Even the water from the Indravati River is being provided to other districts. Our district is devoid of rail communication even after 75 years of Independence,” said a BJP Yuva Morcha member.
“The Modi government at the Centre granted a railway project from Jeypore to Nabarangpur in 2016 where the Odisha government agreed to provide land and 50 percent of the project cost. But despite Centre allocating a budget for the project every year, the State government is yet to earmark even a penny for the same. No land has been acquired for the same railway project," he added.
The effect of bandh was seen in major towns of Nabarangpur including Umerkote where the shops remained shut. The BJP members were seen picketing at several places in the district. They have called to shut down all the offices and educational institutes as part of the bandh.
However, emergency services like medical and fire services have been excluded from the bandh.
The BJP members threatened to gherao the Odisha Legislative Assembly in Bhubaneswar if their demands are not met within one month.