Khurda ADM holds meet to defuse tension
Traders decide to constitute Atmaghati Bahini
Reliance will not be allowed to buy vegetables: vendors
BHUBANESWAR: Retail plan of Reliance Industries Limited (RIL) once again hit a roadblock as small-time traders showed no flexibility to allow opening of Reliance Fresh outlets in the city.
At a meeting convened by Khurda additional district magistrate to defuse tension in connection with launching of Reliance Fresh outlets, members of All Orissa Roadside Vendors’ and Small Shops Association (AORVA) and Rajadhani Hata Byabasai Mahasangh (RHBM) refused to budge on their stance.
Recently, traders and roadside vendors staged violent demonstrations before three ready-to-be-opened Reliance Fresh outlets thwarting the attempt by RIL to launch its operation in the State.
In the afternoon, members of AORVA and other traders told the administration that the company could no way open their outlets, sources said. "If this happens, the administration as well as the company authorities will be held responsible for any untoward incident," they threatened.
Earlier in the morning, AORVA decided to constitute Atmaghati Bahini, a dedicated squad comprising 100 traders to spoil Reliance Fresh plan, in the capital.
"Whenever any outlet by any company will be opened in future, the squad would take violent means to close down the operation," AORVA President Pratap Sahu said.
He alleged that Reliance company officials were hell-bent on opening the outlets ignoring concerns of thousands of traders.
"Both parties could not reach at a compromise formula. The traders hardened their stance while company officials urged the administration to facilitate the operation," a senior police official present at the meeting said.
The AORVA president said the squad, which would have 80 male traders and 20 female members, would remain alert all the time. "The company made an covert attempt again on Saturday to open its outlet at Cuttack Road," Mr. Sahu alleged.
"We will not even let the company officials to buy vegetables from farmers. They will be opposed in rural areas also," he threatened. Attempts to contact any official of RIL’s retail operation proved to be futile.