Why is Bengaluru bandh today? Explained
A wider bandh across the state has also been called on Friday.
Bengaluru is witnessing a complete shutdown today as farmer bodies, several Kannada organisations, and opposition parties called for a ‘bandh’ in the city to protest against the release of Cauvery water to neighbouring state Tamil Nadu. The ‘Karnataka Jala Samrakshana Samiti’ - an umbrella outfit of farmers' associations led by farmer leader Kuruburu Shanthakumar, announced the shutdown from 6 am to 6 pm. (FOLLOW LIVE UPDATES HERE)
Meanwhile, a wider bandh across the state has also been called on Friday.
What is the Cauvery issue?
The Cauvery river water dispute between the two southern states - Tamil Nadu and Karnataka - has been going on for decades. The issue flared up recently after an order from the Cauvery Water Management Authority (CWMA) asking Karnataka to release 5000 cusecs of water to Tamil Nadu for 15 days. According to the Karnataka government, the lower rainfall in the Cauvery catchment area, including regions in Kerala, resulted in insufficient inflow into its reservoirs, and hence, they are in no position to release the water.
Karnataka deputy chief minister Shivakumar who holds the water resources portfolio said that they only have one-third of the required water.
The issue intensified after the Supreme Court last week refused to interfere with the CWMA's order, saying that the top court is “not inclined to entertain” Tamil Nadu's plea.
What is closed today?
All shops, street vendors, commercial outlets, and theatres will be closed today. The services of Bengaluru Metropolitan Transport Corporation (BMTC), Karnataka State Road Transport Corporation (KSRTC), and private cabs including Ola, Uber are likely to be affected.
Along with this, all educational institutions will also be closed today.
What services will be open?
All emergency service-related including ambulances, pharma vehicles, and other important goods-carrying vehicles will be working. Hospitals, medical stores, and restaurants will also run as usual. The Bangalore Metro Rail Corporation Limited (BMRCL) will be running metro services across the city as usual.