Bhubaneswar, Oct 1: Normal life in seven southern Odisha districts was affected due to a 12-hour strike called by the ruling BJD protesting the national project status to Polavaram project in Andhra Pradesh.
The strike was observed in the districts of Malkangiri, Koraput, Raygada, Nabarangpur, Ganjam, Gajapati and Kandhamal.
BJD workers staged the strike in a peaceful manner, shops and business establishments remained closed and vehicular movement came to a grinding halt.
The ruling party activists also staged a rail roko at several places including in Berhampur railway station for four hours. The BJD supporters also staged picketings before all the central government offices in the seven districts.
Though educational institutions remained closed for the day, the strike organisers spared the schools and colleges where exams are going on.
The BJD has been opposing the Polavaram project apprehending that several villages in Malkangiri district of the state will be submerged as Andhra Pradesh has allegedly changed the original design of the Indira Sagar Dam besides increasing its height.
While the erstwhile UPA government at the Centre had accorded national project status tag to Polavaram project, the incumbent NDA government has announced to provide all financial support to the project.
Earlier BJD president and Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik had appointed observers and assistant observers for the smooth conduct of the protest in the seven districts.