Economic blockade hits train services in Odisha

Bhubaneswar: Several long distance trains were diverted as an economic blockade against the state government’s move to upgrade the Rourkela Municipality to a corporation entered the second day on Wednesday.

People under the banner of the Adivasi and Mulavasi Bachao Manch have resorted to the economic blockade against the decision of the government.

According to an East Coast Railways release, rail traffic on the Howrah-Mumbai trunk route was disrupted for hours due to the blockade at Bondamunda and Rourkela stations under the Chakradharpur Division of South Eastern Railway.

The release said the routes of many trains including Howrah-Mumbai (CSTM) Duronto Express, Howrah-Mumbai (CSTM) Gitanjali Express were changed.

Meanwhile, Sundargarh district collector Bhupindar Singh Puniya said the agitators have agreed to end the blockade.

“There was a meeting with the agitating people. They have agreed to call off the blockade. The district administration has assured them of facilitating a meeting with the housing and urban development minister to discuss the matter,” Puniya told IANS.

The agitators claim that the government declaration of including nearby Jghatarang and Jagda gram panchayats and Nabakrishnanagar in the Rourkela Municipality to form the corporation is illegal.