Congress calls for bandh in Odisha over rising fuels prices, educational institutes closed
The Congress has given a call for Odisha bandh (shutdown) on Monday to protest against the rising fuel prices. The bandh will remain in place for six hours - from 7 am to 1 pm.
The state government has closed all the schools, colleges and universities across Odisha for the safety of students. The technical institutes and industrial training centres will also not open their premises, School and Mass Education Minister SR Dash said on Sunday.
The schools had reopened in Odisha on January 8, after a gap of nine months.
The security too has been tightened across the state in view of the bandh. The state government has asked all its employees to reach office before 9.30 am, news agency PTI reported.
All the buses will remain off the roads till the time the shutdown continues, the Odisha Bus Owners Association said.
The president of the Odisha unit of the Congress, Niranjan Patnaik, had said on Sunday that all the essential services, movements of patients and marriage parties will be kept out of the purview of the shutdown.
He also lashed out at the central government for rising prices of petrol and diesel accusing it of "imposing unreasonable taxes". Patnaik said that prices of essential commodities have shot up due to the spiralling fuel costs.
Meanwhile, the prices of petrol and diesel increased for seventh consecutive day on Monday. Petrol price was increased by 26 paise per litre and diesel by 29 paise, according to a price notification of state-owned fuel retailers.
This pushed retail rates, which differ from state to state depending on incidence of local sales tax and freight charges, to fresh high.
After the latest round of hike, petrol is retailing at ₹88.99 a litre and diesel soared to ₹79.35 in the national capital.