Dawn-to-dusk bandh hits public transport in W. Odisha

Bhubaneswar: Public transport system was badly hit as disruptions in rail and road communications paralysed western Odisha on Monday due to the 12-hour bandh call given by the Koshal State Co-ordination Committee (KSCC) demanding separate Koshal state comprising 10 districts of the western region.
 
The bandh was reinforced by the failed talks between the Central Action Committee (CAC) of All Western Odisha Bar Association (AWOBA) and CM Naveen Patnaik to resolve the crisis over a permanent bench of High Court in the region.
 
The members of at least 42 organisations of 10 western Odisha districts, who pledged their support to the struggle for Koshal state, started picketing in all towns and forcefully downed shutters of business establishments, schools, colleges and government offices. The Koshal Kranti Dal (KKD), an outfit fighting for the cause of separate state, expressed solidarity with the bandh.
 
“The people of western Odisha have become victims of regional imbalance for long. So, the formation of separate state is the only solution to the regional bias,” KKD chairman Pramod Mishra said.
 
On August 11, KSCC and the representatives of all western Odisha organisations had taken a decision in a meeting in Sambalpur to observe bandh on August 26 pressing for their demand for the formation of a separate region. They appealed to all political leaders and common people to join the stir for the cause.
 
“During the bandh, we will make sure that business establishments, government offices and educational institutions remain closed. Vehicular traffic will also be paralysed,” Pramod Mishra had said.
 
On the other hand, scrutiny of the nomination papers for the ensuing urban elections will be held today even as no nomination papers were filed in western Odisha districts. Filing of papers was disrupted due to the ongoing strike by the lawyers who have been demanding a circuit bench of Orissa High Court in the west part of the state. Sources said, as many as 4,704 candidates have filed their papers for the upcoming polls.