Odisha: 12-hr Bandh For Cancer Hospital, Sub-Division Status Cripples Barpali

**Barpali:** Normal life was paralysed in Barpali town of Bargarh district today due to a 12-hour dawn-to-dusk bandh called by the Barpali Banika Sangha demanding opening of a Cancer Hospital in the district and also sub-division status for the town.

Government and private offices, court, business establishments, market and educational institutions remained closed in response to the bandh and vehicular movement was also disrupted. However, emergency services were exempted from the bandh.

Reportedly, the Barpali Sambadika Sangha has been demanding sub-division status for the town since 1992. The Barpali Bar Association and Banika Sangha also joined the movement in due course of time.

A memorandum addressed to Chief Minister regarding the said demands was submitted to the local Tahsildar today requesting the former to recall his campaigns during the by-elections in Bijepur constituency.

The memorandum stated that Bargarh district is highly cancer prone. Out of the 17.3 lakh new cancer cases registered every year, 70 per cent are from Western Odisha and Bargarh district accounts for a lion share of them.

Barpali is the second largest town of the district, fulfilling all the criteria to become a Sub-Divisional headquarters. In the past government had said that the demand was under consideration, however, the State Government is yet to declare Barpali as Sub-Division, the memorandum further read.

Bijepur MLA Rita Sahu also extended her support to the demands of the Barpali Banika Sangha.

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