Coastal districts cool to Karnataka bandh call

Unlike in the past when a mixed response was witnessed during calls for state-wide bandh.

Mangaluru: Life in the coastal districts was not affected with offices and schools functioning without any disruption as none in this region responded to the call for a shut-down on Saturday.

Unlike in the past when a mixed response was witnessed during calls for state-wide bandh, local organizations did not join the protests today because they have got little support for their agitation on the Yettinahole (Netravathi diversion) drinking water scheme.

“We have decided not to respond for such calls as nobody is ready to listen to our problem on the Yettinahole issue. Kannada organisations or actors and writers have done precious little to help solve our problem with the Yettinahole project. They have failed to create a platform to air our concern. We have decided to express our protest by not participating in today’s bandh,” Netravati Samrakshana Samyukta Samithi adviser M G Hegde told Deccan Chronicle, adding “I wish to clarify that we are not celebrating Karnataka’s defeat. Our non participation is merely a protest against the state’s negligent attitude towards us. Our non participation today should serve as an eye opener to the government and organizations.”

Explaining various points listed in the order of Mahadayi water dispute tribunal, Mr Hegde said certain points prove that the Yettinahole project too was planned without proper study, permission and planning.

“In Yettinahole project, the state government claims that it will divert only excess water to Kolar-Chikkaballapur areas, but the order on the river Mahadayi clearly points out that the concept of excess water is wrong. Such diversion could create natural imbalance. There are many similarities between the Mahadayi project and Yettinahole as both are diversion projects. However, Yettinahole is more serious as the project will also damage the Western Ghats. Unless the government and organisations of hinterland listen to us on Yettinahole project, we will not respond to their calls for bandh,” he added.

Mixed response in Shivamogga
Shivamogga witnessed a mixed response to the bandh call on Saturday. Though the normal life was not affected much, KSRTC buses, private buses, autorickshaws and taxis were off the road for the day. Cinema halls, petrol bunks and some shops were closed. Schools, colleges, banks, government offices and business establishments functioned as usual. Workers of various Kannada organisations and farmers’ association, led by the Karnataka Rakshana Vedike, took out a protest rally in the city and submitted a memorandum to the district administration.

( Source : Deccan Chronicle. )
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