Trade union strike day 2: Transport, tourism affected in Odisha

Bhubaneswar: The 48-hour countrywide strike called by ten central trade unions entered the second day on Wednesday affecting normal life in several parts of Odisha.

Vehicular communication was affected in Balasore, Rourkela and Bonai of Sundergarh district. In Rourkela, protesters staged pickets near Rourkela Steel Plant (RSP) and Bisra chhak. Road blockade was witnessed on NH-143 and 520 in Keonjhar district. Badambadi bus stand wore a deserted look as buses stayed off roads in Cuttack.

Rail traffic was also affected as memebers of trade unions staged rail roko in Balasore, Bhubaneswar, Berhampur.

While Garib Rath was halted at Bhubaneswar railway station, Puri-Howrah passenger was stopped by agitators in Balasore. Palasa-Bhubaneswar passenger was also stopped by protesters at Berhampur railway station. Six railway siding units were shut down in Bonai.

Educational institutions have been closed in several parts of the State. Earlier, on Tuesday, the State government had issued a circular instructing Collectors to take a decision on closure of schools and colleges based on the situation in their respective districts.

Tourism was also affected in several areas including Puri and Balasore on account of the strike.

Hundreds of tourists who thronged Nilagiri area in Balasore to visit Panchalingeswar shrine and Kuldiha Wildlife Sanctuary have remained stranded due to the bandh.

Visitors have been forced to stay put at hotels as they are unable to move out due to lack of road communication. This apart, closure of businesses has also battered the tourists.

Earlier, on Tuesday, the trade union strike crippled the normal life across the State and the country. Around 20 crore employees from all trade unions except the Bharatiya Mazdoor Sangh supported the strike. Banking and postal services were affected across the country as a section of employees abstained from work. Employees and workers in sectors such as steel, oil, mines, dock and port, transport and insurance joined the strike.

As many as five states including Odisha, Assam, Kerala, Manipur and Meghalaya witnessed complete bandh while other states like Karnataka, Delhi, Goa, and West Bengal were also reportedly affected by the strike.