Deccan Chronicle

Kalasa Banduri row: Bengaluru braces for third bandh in a month

Deccan Chronicle | DC Correspondent

Published on: September 26, 2015 | Updated on: Invalid date

1,400 organisations call for shutdown demanding early resolution of Kalasa Banduri, Mahadayi row

Bengaluru: Another bandh is set to paralyse the city from dawn to dusk on Saturday with more than 1,400 organizations calling for total shutdown in support of the demands of people of North and Hyderabad Karnataka region.

But experts and activists have slammed the organizers for disturbing day to day life. Speaking to Deccan Chronicle, Mr. Mohandas Pai, Chairman of the Board of Manipal Global and former member of the board of directors of Infosys said, "I sympathise with the demands of the farmers and people of under developed regions of the state. But at the same, bandh call is a disgrace to the democracy and negation of rule of law. This bandh is forced on the people who want to work. As the state government is not in a position to provide security to all those who want to work, it is forced on all," he alleged. "The Court has banned all kinds of bandhs. Still the call has been given," he regretted.

Civic activist Mr. R K Mishra also echoed a similar opinion. Mr. Mishra informed that nowhere have people been able to find solution to their problems through bandh. "Calling for bandh may be a democratic right. But it will disturb the livelihood of many. It is encroaching on the democratic rights of others. The bandh call is just an excuse," he stated.

"Many organizations call for bandh to keep them relevant or else they become irrelevant in the public life. As bandh call affects the livelihood of others, I am against this bandh call,' he said. Prof. S R Keshava, Professor, Department of Economics, Bangalore University stated, "The bandh call will affect our own people like daily wage earners etc. By creating problems for our own people, we cannot solve our problems." "Kalasa Banduri, Mahadayi projects can be implemented only if we can bring pressure on the central government, wage a legal war in the Supreme Court etc. For this we need to follow a different strategy. A bandh will not help the cause," he added.

Agitators to lay siege to KIA

Various Kannada organisations have warned that they will lay siege of the Kempegowda International Airport at Devanahalli, if it operates regular flights on Saturday. T.A. Narayana Gowda, President, Karnataka Rakshana Vedike said that pro-Kannada organisations have requested for the cancellation of flights in support of the bandh call. "We will lay siege if flights were operated," he warned.

Train service to be hit: The agitating pro-Kannada organisations have decided to stop train movement in support of the bandh call on Saturday. However, South Western Railway officials said that they were not aware of any bandh call.

No bandh in coastal region and Raichur

Even though Karnataka bandh call has been given, it is expected to be a failure in coastal region and Raichur district. People of coastal region are upset with the state government over the implementation of Nethravathi river diversion project. Raichur district is upset with center's decision to start new IIT in Dharwad district and is not expected not to observe bandh.

What’s available

  • Milk and other essential services
  • Hospital services
  • Medicine/ Medical shops
  • Water supply

What’s not

  • Trains
  • KSRTC/ BMTC buses
  • Airport cab service
  • Cabs, Autos
  • BMTC/KSRTC buses
  • Cinema theaters
  • Hotels and restaurants
  • Fuel stations
  • LPG supply
  • Government offices
  • Factories/ offices
  • Malls and multiplexes

'Govt not acting on our demands’

The city is all set to witness a ‘successful’ bandh on Saturday with more than 1,400 organizations already pledging their support for the cause. This is the third Karnataka bandh call given in last 30 days.

The major demands of the pro Kannada organizations are immediate implementation of various long pending irrigation projects of North and Hyderabad Karnataka region, catalyzing the developmental initiatives etc. "Even though the people of North Karnataka region have been holding protests for the last one month over the Kalasa Banduri project, solution to the agrarian crisis and sugar cane growers problems, the state government has not acted swiftly. By shutting down Bengaluru city we can make the state government feel the heat," said a bandh organizer.

According to the organizers, auto unions, cab service providers, BMTC/ KSRTC employees unions have already announced their support and have decided to withdraw their services. Adding to this government employees union, Kannada film industry, truck owners association, various trade bodies have also extended their support to the bandh call. Protest: As a part of the bandh call, a protest march will be held in the city. According to Mr. Vatal Nagaraj, Ex MLA and leader of pro-Kannada organizations a protest rally will start from Town Hall and assemble at Freedom Park.

"Later a memorandum will be submitted to the Chief Minister Mr. S Siddaramaiah," he said. No essential services: With auto, KSRTC/BMTC, hotels and restaurants also joining the bandh, the city is expected to feel the heat. "Thousands of passengers who arrive in the city via night buses, trains and flight will be inconvenienced. Even though airport cabs and cab aggregators are not participating in the bandh, all the services are expected to be crippled with pro Kannada organizations expected to lay siege to all the major roads," said an officer from the state transport

Holiday for schools and colleges

Meanwhile, the state government has announced holiday for the schools and colleges as a precautionary measure. The Department of Public Instruction has announced a holiday for all schools keeping in mind law and order situation.

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