Bargarh: The demand for a city hospital in this western Odisha town intensified with the Nagarika Ekata Manch enforcing a Bargarh bandh for the second day on Tuesday.
Life was affected as all trading establishments were closed and vehicular traffic came to a grinding halt due to picketing by agitators at several places.
The activists of Nagarika Ekata Manch said the state government had shifted the old district headquarters hospital (DHH) to a new building at Tukurla, about 10 km from Bargarh town. “We welcome the state government’s decision to set up a new building for the DHH. However, we also demand that the state government should convert the old DHH into a city hospital for the benefit of 1.2 lakh people residing in Bargarh town,” an activists said.
Criticising the local BJD MLA, Debesh Acharya, the activist said that instead of assuring the people of taking up their demand with the state government, the legislator was trying to open trading establishments in the town with some of his supporters. “We had elected him as our representative. We now feel that he is not with us,” he added.
Notably, locals, Congress and BJP leaders and several civil society groups have been demanding a city hospital in Bargarh town since January 31.
On Monday, the agitation had turned violent when locals had a face-off with police near the old DHH. Thw locals withdrew their protest after a written assurance by the district collector, Jyoti Ranjan Mohanty.
Though the collector had invited Manch leaders and representatives of other organizations for a meeting in the evening, no one turned up.
The collector has requested the people to observe the bandh in a peaceful manner and refrain from taking law and order in their own hands.