HW English

Strike disrupts rail and road traffic in Odisha

Bhubaneswar |┬áThe two-day nationwide strike called by central trade unions to protest the Centre’s alleged anti-worker policies disrupted rail and road traffic in Odisha on Tuesday.

Train services were hit as trade union activists staged ‘Rail Roko’ on the first day of the 48-hour strike at many places including Bhubaneswar, Cuttack, Puri, Balasore, Jaleswar, Bhadrak, Sambalpur, Berhampur and Paradip, police said.

Over a dozen trains were delayed due to blockade of railway tracks by strike supporters, leaving a large number of passengers stranded at many places, they said.

Shops, markets, business establishments, educational institutions and offices remained closed, while vehicular movement virtually came to a grinding halt across the state during the strike.

Roads wore a deserted look with vehicles, including government and private buses refraining from playing, while a large number of passengers were seen stranded in bus stands in many places.

In state capital Bhubaneswar, trade union activists staged picketing and road blockade by burning tyres at several places and busy thoroughfares. They held a sit-in at Master Canteen Square.

In neighbouring Cuttack city, the activists picketed and blocked roads at various places, besides staging a rail roko at the railway station.

Commissioner of Police of Bhubaneswar-Cuttack, Satyajit Mohanty said adequate police personnel have been deployed to prevent any untoward incident during the strike.

The strike is peaceful so far, he said.

In the port town of Paradip in Jagatsinghpur district, trade union activists staged a demonstration near five gates of Paradip Port and blocked the road leading to the IOCL refinery at Rangiagarh, police said.

Educational institutions including schools, colleges and universities remained shut in view of the strike. A notification in this regard was issued by the state government on Monday, an official said.

The impact of the strike was visible in many places including Balasore, Jaleswar, Rayagada, Sundargarh, Rourkela, Berhampur, Puri, Bhadrak, Sambalpur, Jagatsinghpur, Jajpur and Kendrapara, sources said.

Different political parties including the ruling BJD and its trade union front Biju Sramika Samukhya (BSS) have extended support to the strike called by 10 central trade union organisations.

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