Bengaluru Braces for Bandh Amidst Cauvery Water Dispute
Bengaluru, the bustling metropolis of Karnataka, is gearing up for a bandh (shutdown) on September 26 as a robust response to the Karnataka government’s contentious decision to allocate Cauvery water to Tamil Nadu. This move has sparked outrage among pro-Kannada organizations and farmer associations, who are set to protest against the decision. Here’s a breakdown of what’s open and what’s closed during this protest.
The Cauvery Water Dispute
The root of the unrest lies in the recent directive from the Cauvery Water Management Authority (CWMA), instructing Karnataka to release 5,000 cusecs of water to Tamil Nadu for an additional 15 days. This directive came following a recommendation by the Cauvery Water Regulation Committee (CWRC). The Karnataka cabinet is scheduled to make a significant decision regarding water sharing with Tamil Nadu on September 26 during the next meeting of the Cauvery Water Regulation Committee.
Who’s Behind the Bandh?
Kurubur Shanthakumar, the president of Karnataka Water Conservation Committee, has called for the Bengaluru bandh on September 26. Simultaneously, pro-Kannada activist Vatal Nagaraj had also independently called for a bandh on September 25. After discussions, it was decided to make the final announcement on September 25. Shanthakumar remains steadfast in his call for the bandh on September 26.
Impact on Daily Life
Shanthakumar has appealed to various sectors to support the bandh. He has called on schools, colleges, IT companies, and the film chamber to declare a holiday in solidarity with the protest. Moreover, he has demanded that the state government convene a special assembly session to address the Cauvery water dispute. A protest march from Town Hall to Mysuru Bank Circle is scheduled at 11 am on September 26, and the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) has expressed its support for the bandh.
Services Affected and Unaffected
- Transportation: Taxi services, including Ola and Uber, are expected to be impacted, as the Ola Uber Drivers’ and Owners’ Association has announced their support for the bandh, confirming that drivers will stay off the roads on Tuesday. However, Namma Metro services will continue to operate as usual.
- Hospitals: Essential services such as hospitals, nursing homes, pharmacies, and government offices will remain open to ensure healthcare access during the bandh.
- Theatres: The Kannada film industry has shown solidarity with the bandh, and movie theatres in the city are expected to remain closed.
- Restaurants: While restaurants have expressed moral support for the bandh, they are considered essential services and will remain open, allowing residents to access meals during the protest.
In summary, as Bengaluru braces for the bandh on September 26, it’s crucial for residents to plan accordingly, with many services and transportation options expected to be affected, while essential services like hospitals and restaurants will continue to operate. The protest underscores the passionate regional sentiments surrounding the Cauvery water allocation issue in Karnataka.