Rashmi Ranjan

Bhubaneswar: All private buses in the State will stay off-road from 6 am to 1 pm on Monday in view of the Odisha bandh called by State Congress protesting the fuel prices hike, said Private Bus Owners' Association Treasurer Barada Acharya on Sunday.

Speaking to media, Acharya said, "All private buses will stay off-road from 6 am to 1 pm on Monday owing to Odisha bandh. However, the services will resume after 1 pm."

"Keeping the safety of buses and passengers into consideration, we have come up with the decision," Acharya added.

Similarly, all colleges and universities across Odisha will remain closed tomorrow in view of the bandh called by Congress, informed State Higher Education Department on Sunday.

Earlier in the day, the School and Mass Education Department has announced the closure of the schools in the State on Monday.

Informing about the decision, State SME Minister Samir Dash said, “Schools in Odisha will remain closed for the next two days – February 15 and 16”.

He further added that while schools will remain closed on Monday owing to the six-hour bandh call given by the Odisha Pradesh Congress Committee (OPCC), there will be no classes on Tuesday also on account of Saraswati Puja.

It needs mentioning here that OPCC president Niranjan Patnaik on February 9 had called for a state-wide shutdown to protest against the rising prices of petro fuels. He blamed the abnormal rise in petro prices during the last one month on the BJP government at Centre and ruling BJD in State.