Traders in Odisha have lost business transactions estimated at Rs 1,500 crore on the first day of the two-day strike called by trade unions.
The strike call was given by trade unions to protest the 'anti-people' policies of the Narendra Modi-led government at the Centre.
"To avoid any untoward incident, traders in the key markets have suo moto pulled down their shutters. The loss in business due to bandh called by the trade unions is pegged at around Rs 1,500 crore”, said Sudhakar Panda , secretary, Odisha Baybasayai Mahasangha.
Most shops, business establishments and commercial centres downed shutters in all the major cities across the state.
Banks in Odisha were also impacted by the strike as most branches were off operations. Some branches of State Bank of India (SBI), which did not participate in the strike, were picketed and closed by the trade union members, said a bank official.
The roads wore a deserted look with vehicular traffic coming to a grinding halt in the state as buses, trucks and rickshaws remained off the roads.
Similarly, train services were disrupted as the agitators protested at different railway stations including Cuttack and Bhubaneswar. While 20 trains have been controlled en route due to the strike, seven trains were cancelled fully and two more were partially cancelled.
The Odisha government announced closure of anganwadis, schools, colleges and universities across the state on Tuesday in view of the two-day Bharat bandh call given by different trade unions.
Both the ruling Biju Janata Dal (BJD) and Congress in the state have extended their support to the two-day strike called by trade union members.
Souribandhu Kar, general secretary (Odisha state committee) of All India Trade Union Congress (AITUC), termed the 48-hour strike a success.