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Say it in Odia, or forget about setting up shop

- Mandatory for kiosks to put up vernacular signage during weeklong Bali yatra

Cuttack, Nov. 23: The Cuttack district administration has decided to strictly enforce the government decision to give prominence to the local language.

Use of Odia in signage will be mandatory for those setting set up kiosks during the weeklong Bali yatra starting from November 28. Earlier, a lot of kiosks had put up signage in English alone.

“According to the recent decision, all kiosk owners will have to display the name of their shops in Odia. This will be mandatory,” said district collector Girish S.N.

Girish said the district administration had set this as the condition for parties seeking licence to set up their kiosks.

A team consisting of information and public relations officer, tehsildar and others has been constituted to ensure that there is no violation of the order.

Over 1,500 kiosks are likely to come up during the six-day festival starting on Kartik purnima.

The district administration is expecting a turnout of 10 lakh visitors.

“The kiosk owners can use any other language but simultaneously they have to use Odia as the first preference language in their signage. Any kind of violation would invite stringent action and cancellation of their licence,” the collector said.

Welcoming the initiative, members of Utkal Sammilani, Cuttack chapter said: “Bali yatra is not only a trade fair but it is deeply rooted in our culture.”

“We had discussed the issue with the district collector last week and pressed for use of Odia during Bali yatra which has been approved. This will certainly create a positive environment to ensure that other government and non-government offices follow the practice,” said Rabi Ranjan Sahu, president, Utkal Sammilani, Cuttack Unit.

Sahu said Section 38 of Odisha Shops and Commercial Establishment Act, 1956, stipulated display of names and address of commercial establishments prominently in front in Odia.

However, the guideline and government order was not being enforced. Hence, adequate awareness would be created in this regard in the city, Sahu added.

Elaborate arrangements are being made by the district administration to ensure that visitors do not face any kind of problems during Bali yatra which would be held on an additional 50,000sqft of land this year.