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Sharmili Mallick

Cuttack: Uncertainty looms large over the ‘Bali Yatra’ festival in Cuttack as the tent house association today dismantled several tents pitched for setting up stalls along the Mahanadi river bed after dispute between the traders’ association and the district administration intensified.

On Friday, the traders’ association had decided to shun from opening stalls alleging the administration of changing rules frequently without prior notice.

"The district administration is coming with new rules each day. With Bali Yatra just a few days ahead, it is difficult on our part to abide by these rules," alleged general secretary of the traders’ association, Sukant Mohanty.

Meanwhile, the traders' body has demanded intervention of the local MLA to resolve the issue.

"The traders, who have come here for business purpose, are giving us work to make tents for their stalls but the officials of the district administration have been dismantling the set up repeatedly and asking us to bring new permissions from the concerned authorities. With only five days left, we cannot take up the work anymore," said a tent house trader, Shibasankar Mohapatra.

Earlier, a dispute had surfaced between the traders' association and district administration over allotment of plots for stalls. The deadlock seemed to have ended and distribution of plots had started.

However, another dispute cropped in between the two over the installation of rides in the festival. The administration decided to install rides through tender process but the move was opposed by the ride traders.

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