KORAPUT: The 12-hour bandh call given by the ruling BJD protesting against the Polavaram irrigation project has thrown normal life out of gear in Koraput, Malkangiri, Nabarangpur and Rayagada districts in Odisha.
Shops and business establishments remained closed during the bandh, and vehicular movement was also affected as the protestors staged demonstrations at different places in the districts intensifying their opposition to the project.
The general public is also claimed to be supporting the strike, with locals joining the protests which are being held at different places in the districts.
However, emergency services were spared from the shutdown, which is being observed from 7 am to 5 pm on Thursday.
Commerce and Transport Minister Ramesh Chandra Majhi said the party is protesting against the irrigation project which will submerge several villages in Motu area of Malkangiri district due to its increased height.
“Even when three states are involved in this project the Andhra Pradesh government has not given us any information or details about the project. They have also not conducted a Gram Sabha, which is necessary for tribal areas,” he alleged.
“We have given a proposal to the Prime Minister Narendra Modi to create three barrages instead to a big dam. If the dam is created, 302 villages will be submerged, while if three barrages are created then, only 74 villages will be drowned,” he alleged.
BJD also staged a dharna in front of Raj Bhavan in Bhubaneswar today. Besides, the ministers, MPs, MLAs and workers of the party met Governor SC Jamir and handed over a memorandum for the President of India.
The BJD ministers and MLAs also demanded to conduct Palli Sabhas in the areas which will be affected by the project. They also demanded to withhold the construction work of the dam until a verdict of Supreme Court.