Citizens Committee calls Bhanjanagar Bandh on March 12 demanding Municipality declaration to Bhanjanagar NAC

Bhanjanagar (Odisha Today): Citizens Committee of Bhanjanagar called Bhanjanagar Bandh on 12th March demanding Municipality declaration to Bhanjanagar NAC. Bhanjanagar is a Historical Town in Ganjam having population over 22 thousands as per 2011 census. The actual population may be increased as 13 years have been passed since last census. And after merging nearby panchayats, the population will cross the required threshold. Despite all criterias fulfilled, Bhanjanagar is not declared as Municipality till date. On 24th February Govt of Odisha has declared 34 new NACs and five NACs upgraded to Municipality Status. The next day another NAC Biramaharajpur declared.

As per the Chief Minister’s announcement, NACs in Boudhgarh in Boudh, Karanjia in Mayurbhanj, Kantabanji in Balangir district and Chatrapur and Aska NAC in Ganjam district have been upgraded to Municipalities, but Bhanjanagar is not upgraded. In 2019 HC Odisha has admitted a PIL for the declaration of Aska, Bhanjanagar and Chatrapur as municipalities by including the neighbouring areas of the three NACs in Ganjam district.

The PIL was filed by Berhampur-based Bharatiya Bikash Parishad’s president Surendra Panigrahi after a representation to the chief minister yielded no response. In his representation to chief minister Naveen Patnaik on May 8, 2018, Panigrahi had urged for the declaration of Aska, Bhanjanagar and Chatrapur as municipalities by including 18 localities in the neighbourhood areas under the three NACs.

However after ignored by Govt of Odisha, Citizens Committee of Bhanjanagar started mass strike in Sub-Collector Bhanjanagar premises from 26th February and the strike still continues. The committee also handed over a demand letter to Bhanjanagar Sub-Collector Anil Kumar Sethi on 9th March.

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