Economic blockade observed in 4 Odisha districts in support of demand for HC bench

Sambalpur/Bhawanipatna
7 Jan 2019

Movement of raw materials and finished goods was hit as lawyers began a 3-day economic blockade in four western Odisha districts Monday demanding a permanent High Court bench in the region. Stepping up their agitation to press for the demand the Central Action Committee (CAC) of Western Odisha Lawyers Association decided to observe the blockade at a meeting held here on Sunday. Vehicles engaged in transportation of raw materials and finished goods like coal, cement, iron rods and sand to the companies are being detained at various places in Sambalpur, Sundargarh, Jharsuguda and Deogarh districts, CAC spokesperson Sureswar Mishra said. In addition, industrial units and companies are being prevented from drawing water from Hirakud reservoir as part of the economic blockade which will continue till Wednesday, he said. However, vehicles carrying essential consumer items are allowed to ply, Mishra said adding people from all spheres have extended support to the agitation for setting up of a permanent bench of High Court. Though the lawyers have been agitating since September last year demanding establishment of a permanent High Court Bench in West Odisha, neither the state government nor the Centre has taken any concrete step in this regard, he said.
A large number of trucks and other vehicles carrying raw materials like minerals and finished items were stranded at several places on highways due to the blockade, police said adding no untoward incident was reported from anywhere. Meanwhile, a report from Bhawanipatna said the demand for setting up of a separate bench of High Court in Kalahandi gained momentum. Normal life in Kalahandi district was paralysed on Monday due to a dawn-to-dusk shut-down called by Joint Coordination committee of Bar Associations of Kalahandi demanding a permanent Bench of High Court. The 12-hour bandh was observed throughout the district and different political parties, civic society and trade unions supported the strike, President of Kalahandi Bar Association Santosh Panda said. Shops and business establishments remained closed and vehicular traffic came to a standstill, while banks, educational institutions and Courts were also closed. Panda said Kalahandi fulfills all criteria required for establishment of High Court bench. (PTI)