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Bar on Fresh outlets

Cuttack, Dec. 23: The bid to re-start Reliance Retail outlets in Cuttack received a set back when the district administration issued directives prohibiting inauguration of an outlet at Mahanadi Vihar today.

District collector Sujata Kartikeyan issued the order following protests by activists of Orissa Street Vendors’ Federation.

On Saturday, the federation activists staged protests in front of the Reliance Fresh outlet at Mahanadi Vihar around 2pm.

The city unit president of the federation, Subash Singh, said they would prevent all Fresh shops from opening in the city, as they would rob the poor of their livelihood.

Singh stated that corporate groups like Reliance “need not enter the retail market” by selling daily provisions, vegetables and fruits, as they would “rob” hundreds of retail traders and smaller shopkeepers of their livelihood.

The vegetable and fruit vendors, too, would have a tough time, as they would lose their business to the corporate sector.

The federation demanded that the government does not to allow Fresh shops from starting out, as they would affect the “poorest of the poor”.

Earlier, the federation had called for a Cuttack bandh on August 8 over the same issue.

The collector had subsequently assured that no Reliance Fresh shop would open in the city.

Reliance Retail, a part of the Mukesh Ambani-controlled Reliance Industries Limited (RIL), proposes to set up 230 retail outlets across Orissa, as a part of its plans for Orissa.

Of them eight had been planned for Cuttack city.

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