Strike hits Bengaluru again as Pro-Kannada organisations and farmer unions have called for Karnataka bandh on Friday, September 9, to raise their voice against the recent directive by Supreme Court pertaining to the release of Cauvery water to Tamil Nadu.
It’s been only 1 week since a Bharat Bandh shut down the IT capital of the country for a whole day. This time the impact is predicted to be much heavier than the previous one.
So, what will be options to make your way around Bangalore:
City buses (BMTC buses): Not running
Autos: Not running
Call Taxis: Not likely to run . Check the availability on YoRide app
Metro: Not likely to run
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Read below for more details:
For the third time in less a month Karnataka, mainly Bengaluru is likely to get shut down for a whole day as numerous organisations lend their support to the bandh called against the Supreme Court’s decision to release Cauvery waters to Tamil Nadu.
“The bandh will have a huge impact on Bengaluru, Mysore and Mandya. In these parts, the strike will be total and almost all services and businesses other than necessities will be closed.” - said a statement from Karnataka Government Intelligence Bureau.
The fact that this time the bandh is more driven by people's interest and political parties has a lesser role to play makes the conditions much worse. A good number of the citizens of the state have extended support to the bandh. Entry and exit points to Tamil Nadu will remain shut and no vehicular movement will be allowed on Sept 9. Bangalore Metropolitan Transport Corporation (BMTC) have stopped all services to Tamil Nadu.
The strike was called after the Karnataka Government’s decision to release Cauvery water to Tamil Nadu on Wednesday. The dispute was going on for a long time and last week, the supreme court ruled in favour of Tamil Nadu. Following the court’s decision, the Karnataka Chief Minister said “Despite severe hardship faced by Karnataka, the state will release water as directed by the order of the Supreme Court”.
The government decision did not go down well with the people of Karnataka, as giving water to Tamil Nadu could lead to shortage of water in Karnataka. The main points raised by Kannada activist Vatal Nagaraj (the main driving force behind the movement) are:
Most of the people in South Karnataka region are farmers and many unseasoned crops are grown. This region is known for it's best sugarcane produced in the country. The main crop in districts like Mysore, Mandya and Hassan is sugarcane like 80% of total crops produced. This needs a lot of water so, monsoon rains are not enough. Not only Sugarcane, people in this region are also dependent on Rabi crops (crops are grown in winter), which surely need a lot of water. In Areas like these even ground water is not available due to closeness to the Western Ghats.
Bangalore the third most populous city in India. The population doubled in 10 years, it was 4.5 million in 2001. It was 9 million in 2001 and it's been increasing. This city has literally no water source near it. Ground water table has dipped to 800-1000 ft and even then there is no guarantee of water. Water from Cauvery river is the only economically feasible option.
Most of the South Karnataka districts like Mysore, Mandya, Chamrajnagar, Hassan, Ramnagar, Tumkur are drought stricken. So, it's really a great reason to store water in the state.
GDP of Districts in Cauvery Basin - Mysore -INR 136.47 billion, Bangalore Rural-INR 75.57 billion, Bangalore Urban -INR 993.25 billion, Chamrajnagar-INR 29.69 billion, Hassan - INR 66.12 billion, Coorg-INR 39.30 billion, Mandya -INR 58.48 billion, Ramnagar - INR 56.39 billion. These 8 districts combined provides whopping 46.86% of total GDP of Karnataka state. Karnataka has 30 districts. Mostly except Bangalore Urban the revenue is from Agriculture-related businesses. If the state has to develop it surely wants to keep water source in this region in this mind.
The activists and farmers have gained mass support from people of the state. In many areas near the Karnataka - Tamil Nadu borders, protesters have intensified their agitation and are blocking several roads and forcing schools and colleges to shut down. In Mandya, agitated farmers and activists belonging to pro-Kannada outfits have blocked Bengaluru-Mysuru Highway to protest against the top court's order.
BMTC has stopped all services to Tamil Nadu. For the first time, cab drivers and autos have also completely extended their support to the strike. Namma Metro is also not likely to run as they have adopted their normal “wait-and-watch” strategy of decision making.
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Normal life will be affected in a really bad way as banks and all government institutions have also declared tomorrow a holiday. Most of the IT companies have extended tomorrow as a work from home day seeing the difficulty for its employees arrive at the office tomorrow.
Many private schools and colleges already granted holiday on tomorrow. Emergency services, primarily health care and ambulance services will function. Pharmacies will remain open, albeit with shopkeepers wearing black badges in protest.
Transport is going to be hit badly and it is better to stay at home if possible. But if you do need to go out, try YoRide and check for available taxis. YoRide will show you all available taxi options and let you book one instantly.