Nagarika Manch observes Belpahar bandh; normalcy hit

Jharsuguda: Normal life was thrown out of gear in Belpahar as the Belpahar Nagarika Manch observed a bandh in Belpahar of Jharsuguda district today pressing for six point charter of demands.

Though a tripartite meeting between the district administration, railway authorities and the Belpahar Nagarik Mancha was held on Wednesday, the discussion was not fruitful. Following this, the Manch has called for a shutdown and threatened to stage a rail roko agitation. Schools, markets and business establishments remained closed during the shutdown and vehicular traffic came to a grinding halt.

The Manch alleged that despite the railway getting crores of revenue from Jharsuguda district, no developmental work is carried out at the railway station.

“Our main demands include stoppage of South Bihar train at Belpahar station, extension of Raigad- Bilaspur Passenger, Durg- Gondia Jansatabdi Express, upgradation, renovation and development of Belpahar station and construction of an under bridge or an over bridge near Belpahar level crossing,” said vice-president of Belpahar Nagarika Manch, Prachandajay Biswal.

The organisation further alleged that railway authorities are showing a callous attitude towards their demands since last few days.

“The Belpahar Nagarika Mancha had the demands related to railway and hence a meeting was called which was attended by the authorities of the Bilaspur railway division. The meeting was not successful as the railway authorities are showing a rigid attitude towards the demands,” said Jharsuguda collector, Bibhuti Bhusan Patnaik.

On the other hand, the railway authorities said the demands have been sent to the railway board and steps are being taken to fulfil the demands.

“We have sent a proposal regarding the demands for stoppages of three trains at Belpahar and the final decision will be taken by the railway board,” Divisional Commercial Manager (DCM) DCM of Railway division Rashmi Gautam said.