Schools and government offices in Karnataka remained shut on Thursday due to a statewide bandh call over sharing of water of Mahadayi river.
A few days back several Kannada and farmer outfits in Karnataka have called for a state-wide bandh in protest against the “Centre’s apathy” towards the Mahadayi river water dispute with Goa. BJP alleged that the bandh call is ‘political’ as it coincides with BJP president Amit Shah’s visit to Mysuru on Thursday. There is tight security across the State.
Karnataka-Goa bus route is at a total standstill. In the state, the KSRTC/BMTC have completely withdrawn their services, while autos and cabs continue to ply on the road. App-based taxis carry out services. It is learnt that the Uber has told their drivers that they will compensate in case there is any vehicle damage).
Many private companies have also chosen to remain closed. However, transport services such as buses and cabs are likely to function. Several app-based taxi services have also said that they would remain on the road. Various IT offices in Bengaluru have also asked their employees to work from home or to take the day off. Though transport corporations, the Railways, and BMRCL have said services will be available, it will depend on the security situation during the 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. bandh.
Karnataka State Government Employees’ Association and Karnataka Film Chamber of Commerce have supported the bandh call.Barring protest demonstration by Karnataka Rakshana Vedike activists, normal life remained unaffected in Ballari. Flybus and BMTC bus services are not available to and fro airport due to the bandh. Private bus service is normal in Mangaluru. KSRTC buses are not plying in Mangaluru during the bandh.
NEKRTC buses are off the roads. Movement of private vehicles remains unaffected. Holiday declared for educational institutions. No reports of any untoward incidents. Police have made elaborate security measures as a precautionary measure.
The bandh call evokes good response in Dharwad. The city wears a deserted look as buses remain off the roads and business establishments are closed. Educational institutions are not functioning. Schools declared holidays in only four of 11 taluks in Belagavi. NWKRTC has stopped buses to Goa.
The pro-Kannada outfits are demanding Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s mediation in the matter. The state is seeking the release of 7.56 tmcft water for the Kalasa-Banduri Nala project.