Bangalore Airport: 44 Flights Cancelled Amidst Cauvery Water Dispute
Bangalore Airport: 44 Flights Cancelled Amidst Cauvery Water Dispute

Bangalore, Karnataka: A total of 44 flights faced cancellations at Kempegowda International Airport (KIA) in Bangalore on Friday due to the ongoing Karnataka Bandh, prompted by the contentious Cauvery river water issue. The KIA Public Relations Officer (PRO) confirmed that this tally included 22 inbound and 22 outbound flights, all disrupted on September 29.

Addressing the situation, authorities at the Bangalore Airport issued a statement on Thursday, urging passengers to stay informed by monitoring updates from their respective airlines, law enforcement agencies, and media outlets. The airport's entrance became a site of protest for numerous pro-Kannada activists, who were voicing their grievances over the protracted Cauvery river water dispute between Karnataka and Tamil Nadu. As tensions flared, the Bangalore Police detained several of these protesters.

The impact of the Karnataka Bandh extended beyond aviation, affecting Karnataka State Road Transport Corporation (KSRTC) bus services as well. KSRTC officials reported that only 59.88% of buses were operational in the southern regions of the state. Mysuru and Chamarajanagar bore the brunt of these disruptions. Of the 447 buses scheduled to depart from Mysuru, only seven managed to do so, while in Chamarajanagar, a mere eight out of 247 buses were able to operate. Chikkamagaluru, Mandya, and Bangalore also witnessed a significant reduction in bus services.

To maintain public order during the bandh and ongoing protests, the Karnataka police heightened their vigilance and deployed additional forces across the state to preempt any potential disturbances. In several districts, including Bangalore Urban, Chamarajanagara, Mandya, Mysuru, Ramanagara, and Hassan, Section 144 of the Criminal Procedure Code (CrPC) was enforced. Additionally, authorities ordered the closure of schools and colleges for the day.

Meanwhile, Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah and Deputy Chief Minister DK Shivakumar have convened a meeting to address the Cauvery water-sharing issue. DK Shivakumar has scheduled a discussion with agriculture and irrigation experts on Friday to seek their recommendations in advance of the Cauvery Water Management Authority's forthcoming meeting in Delhi.

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