Shutdown effect on Malgodown business

Normal life was disrupted here as business establishments downed shutters, while public and private vehicles kept off the roads during the bandh call given by the Congress and Left parties to protest against the fuel price hike.

By LALMOHAN PATNAIK in Cuttack
  • Published 11.09.18
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An ambulance drives past burning tyres in Cuttack. Picture by Badrika Nath Das

Cuttack: Normal life was disrupted here as business establishments downed shutters, while public and private vehicles kept off the roads during the bandh call given by the Congress and Left parties to protest against the fuel price hike.

Though shops along the main streets remained shut, those in the, lanes and bylanes did normal business.

However, Malgodown, the largest wholesale mandi for essential commodities, functioned normally.

"We kept our establishments open as we received no communication to keep business closed," said Prafulla Chatoi, secretary Cuttack Chamber of Commerce.

Chatoi, however, conceded that business during the day was affected as retailers depending on Malgodown could not come due to the bandh.

Though autorickshaws ferried commuters in some areas, Congress City unit chief Md Moquim said: "Ambulances were allowed to move without any obstructions."

While educational institutions remained closed, the outpatient wings of the SCB Medical College and Hospital functioned as usual.

Hospital superintendent P.K. Debata said: "The turnout of patients at the outdoor units was like on any other day."

However, several persons had to drop plans to travel out of Cuttack.

Rajendranagar resident Ashok Kumar Mohanty said: "I had planned to visit my brother at Kanakpur, but I had to drop the idea and decided to go on Tuesday as buses were not available."

"As the bandh was declared much ahead in time not many people were seen stranded at the Badambadi bus stand," said resident Prafulla Mohanty.

Moquim, however, was happy with the people's response to the bandh.

"People from various sections responded in their own way as the bandh was called to protest the spiralling prices of petrol and diesel," he said.

Deputy commissioner of police Akhileswar Singh said: "The bandh was peaceful and no untoward incident was reported." Commissionerate police had deployed 17 platoons of armed personnel to maintain law and order during Monday's bandh.