Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Brahmapur/ Jharsuguda, Nov 15:
The demand for locating the proposed Indian Institute of Management (IIM) in Odisha grew shriller in Brahmapur and Jharsuguda today with both these cities observing a dwan-to-dusk bandh.
Normal life was badly hit in both these cities with agitators picketing at different junctions and stopping vehicles from plying on the roads.
While vehicular traffic remained off the roads in Brahmapur, a large number of vehicles remained stranded at different junctions in Jharsuguda city with commuters having a harrowing time.
Agitators stopped movement of trains by picketing in front of the locomotives at Brahmapur Railway Station. The 12-hour bandh call given by the Forum for IIM in Brahmapur is being supported by politicians from all political parties, besides the public at large.
Even housewives joined the agitation in Brahmapur, some were seen picketing in front of a train in Brahmapur Railway station. “We have left the kitchen and come here today to mount pressure on the government to establish the IIM in Brahmapur or any location in Ganjam district. We will intensify our agitation if the government fails to yield to our demand,” said a housewife at the Brahmapur Railway Station who was picketing before the train.
Another middle aged agitator said: “None of the 22 national level institutions that have come up in state have found a place in Ganjam. IIM at Brahmapur or in any location in Ganjam district is our demand. We are not going to budge from our demand come what may. We will further intensify our agitation if the government doesn’t listen to us.”
Commercial establishments, markets, schools, courts, colleges and other educational institutions, state and central government offices remained closed in both the cities in response to the bandh call.
Buses went off the roads in Jharsuguda while vehicles remained parked on both sides of the roads at Beheramal chhak, BTM chhak, Bus Stand chhak and Badmal chhak as agitators blocked roads to the discomfort of passengers in these vehicles.