COVID-19: Odisha govt bans agitations in ULBs

Bhubaneswar: The Odisha government has invoked ESMA to prohibit strikes by any agency/group of persons dealing with sanitation works in civic bodies and workers connected with supply and distribution of drinking water in urban areas in view of COVID-19.

The government enforced section 3 of Essential Services (Maintenance) Act – 1988 to prevent water supply and sanitation workers in urban areas from staging any kind of agitation or mass demonstration.

The order will remain in force till six months.

An order of the Home Department said a lot of precaution has to be taken in the ULBS for the supply of drinking water and maintenance of sanitation in view of the COVID-19 outbreak.

“To ensure uninterrupted service, the Home Department has directed the Revenue Divisional Commissioners (RDCs), the Inspectors General of Police (IGPs), Director General of Police (DGP), the district collectors and SPs to take necessary action to prohibit the strikes in the aforesaid services applicable to all ULBs, Public Health Engineering Organisation (PHEO), Odisha Water Supply and Sewerage Board (OWSSB) and Water Corporation of Odisha (WATCO) in the exercise of the powers conferred by sub-section (l) of Section 3 of the Odisha Essential Services (Maintenance) Act, 1988 (Odisha Act 9 of 1992) with immediate effect,” the notification said.