State-wide bandh in Karnataka tomorrow: Here's what to expect
Karnataka braced for a state-wide bandh on Friday in protest against releasing of Cauvery water to Tamil Nadu. Here's what to expect tomorrow.
The southern state of Karnataka is set to witness a day long state-wide bandh on Friday in protest against the release of Cauvery river water to neighbouring Tamil Nadu. The bandh, called by the 'Kannada Okkuta' - a blanket organisation of pro-Kannada groups - comes after a Bengaluru bandh held on Tuesday, which evoked a partial response.
Timings of the Karnataka bandh tomorrow
The bandh will be in effect for 12 hours from 6am to 6pm tomorrow.
Where will protests be held?
Farmers and pro-Kannada groups are set to take out a massive protest procession from Town Hall to Freedom park in Bengaluru, among other places across the state.
What will be affected?
Transport and travel could be affected across the state tomorrow as organisers of the protests have told reporters that they will try to shut highways, toll gates, rail services, and even airports.
Schools, colleges and other educational institutions are also likely to be closed tomorrow, along with offices. Employees are expected to largely work from home, however there is no official confirmation as of yet.
Essential services including hospitals, government offices and banks are likely to operate as per usual.
Will Ola, Uber be available?
Cab aggregators including Ola and Uber have extended support to the bandh tomorrow and are set to hold a rally from Nayandahalli to Town Hall. “All our drivers have been informed to stay off the road from 6 am to 6 pm. We will hold a rally from Nayandahalli to Town Hall,” Tanveer Pasha, Ola Uber Driver's and Owner's Association told Hindustan Times.
The ‘Kannada Okkuta’ said the Karnataka bandh tomorrow will be successful, and warned the state government against measures to curtail the protests.
"Karnataka bandh will be successful, more than 1,900 associations and pro Kannada organisations have supported it. From Belagavi or Bidar to Chamarajanagara and from Mangaluru to Kolar, everyone is ready to observe bandh," 'Kannada Okkuta' leader Vatal Nagaraj told news agency PTI.
Nagaraj also said film superstar Rajinikanth should not come to Karnataka, and that his films should be boycotted in the state. "Even if power goes, don't release water, for the sake of people of Karnataka...if you release water there will be state wide protest for 15 days, we will shut National Highways, we will hold jail bharo agitations, lakhs of people are ready to go to jails," he added.
While schools, colleges, offices, shops, restaurants, hotels and establishments remained shut on Tuesday, public transport including KSRTC, BMTC, Metro, auto rickshaws and cab aggregators such as Ola and Uber functioned as per normal.
The Cauvery Water Regulatory Committee (CWRC) on Tuesday held a meeting and revised daily water inflow to Tamil Nadu from 5,000 cusecs to 3,000 cusecs after considering the drought-like situation being witnessed in several districts of Karnataka. However, the decades old Cauvery dispute between the two southern states was fuelled by separate protests and sit-ins by opposition parties on Wednesday, which said the ruling Congress “failed to handle the issue”.
Several reports said around 1000 people were detained after Tuesday's Bengaluru bandh for organising and participating in protests and marches without taking prior permission. The Bengaluru bandh, along with tomorrow's wider one is set to cost the state government around ₹4,000 crore, another report said.
(With PTI inputs)