Bangalore, September 25 - A city-wide shutdown, or "bandh," is set to take place tomorrow, September 26, in response to the recent allocation of Cauvery River water to Tamil Nadu by the Karnataka government. Here's a breakdown of what will be open and closed during the bandh.
The Cauvery Water Management Authority (CWMA) has directed Karnataka to continue releasing 5,000 cubic feet per second (cusecs) of water to Tamil Nadu for an additional 15 days, based on the recommendation of the Cauvery Water Regulation Committee (CWRC). The Karnataka cabinet is slated to make a decision on water sharing with Tamil Nadu during the next meeting of the Cauvery Water Regulation Committee, scheduled for September 26. In protest of this decision, various pro-Kannada organizations and farmer associations have jointly called for a shutdown in Bangalore on the same day, and discussions are underway to extend the protest to the entire state of Karnataka.
The call for the bandh was issued by Kurubur Shanthakumar, President of the Karnataka Water Conservation Committee, who announced the shutdown for September 26 (Tuesday). Additionally, pro-Kannada activist Vatal Nagaraj independently called for a bandh on September 25. Following discussions, a final decision was reached to proceed with the bandh on September 26, as per Shanthakumar's announcement. Shanthakumar has urged educational institutions, IT companies, and the film chamber to declare a holiday in support of the bandh. He has also called upon the state government to convene a special assembly session to address the Cauvery water dispute. A protest march is scheduled from Town Hall to Mysuru Bank Circle at 11 am on September 26, with the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) expressing its support for the bandh.
Tanveer Pasha, President of the Ola Uber Drivers' and Owners' Association, has pledged support for the bandh, confirming that taxi drivers will stay off the roads on Tuesday in solidarity with the protest. Pasha emphasized, "There will be no compromise when it comes to land, language, and water. Without any hesitation, we stand with the bandh." Airport taxi services are likely to be affected, but Namma Metro services will continue to operate as usual by the Bangalore Metro Rail Corporation Limited (BMRCL).
Essential services, including hospitals, nursing homes, pharmacies, and government offices, will remain open to ensure the well-being of the public.
Government-operated Bangalore Metropolitan Transport Corporation (BMTC) and Karnataka State Road Transport Corporation (KSRTC) have also expressed support for the bandh and will suspend their services.
The Kannada film industry has united in solidarity with the bandh, resulting in the closure of movie theatres in the city.
While restaurants have expressed their moral support for the bandh, they are considered essential services and will remain open on Tuesday.
Stay informed about the bandh's developments as Bangaloreans come together to voice their concerns regarding the Cauvery water allocation decision.