Bengaluru City has come to a standstill amidst shutdown calls over Cauvery water sharing ,with arrest of protesters, citizens and support from different stratas of society.
The dispute of sharing of Cauvery river water between Southern Indian States of Karnataka and Tamilnadu has come on to the streets of the Silicon City of India where local organisations have called for a total Bandh (shutdown) on Friday 29 September.
The shutdown took effect at 6am (Indian Standard Time) to be observed till 6 in the evening. Many grocery shops and other non essential stores have been closed in support while essential stores like hospitals, ambulances and pharmacies will be operational.
Protesters call massive support from all over Karnataka
The protest also got massive support from Kannada film industry and Auto Rickshaw driver’s Union bringing the transportation to a halt. The city’s metro rail system and the state run buses operated as usual and security was tightened.
Theatres across the state have cancelled shows till evening,with Karnataka Film Exhibitors Association also backing the movement.
Most of the companies in the city have asked their employees to work from home. Key market areas in Bengaluru are deserted.
Bengaluru Deputy Commissioner Dayananda KA announced a holiday for schools and colleges. Also people associated with the pro-Canada outfits have been arrested.
Image credit:the times of India
According to Additional Superintendent of Police of Bengaluru Rural Mallikarjun Baladandi ,the force has adequate staff and they would make sure that nothing goes wrong.
Section 144 of the CrPC was imposed in Bengaluru Urban, Mandya,Mysore, Chamarajanagar , Ramanagara and Hassan. Educational Institutes were also closed.
The Cauvery conflict between Tamil Nadu and Karnataka resurfaces whenever there’s a shortfall in the Southwest Monsoon in the region.
Conflict Of The Cauvery River
Flowing through Karnataka and Tamil Nadu before eventually merging into the Bay of Bengal, the Cauvery is a significant river in southern India. In the late 1800s a dispute arose over this river when agreements were reached between the princely state of Mysore (now part of Karnataka) and the Madras Presidency (now Tamil Nadu).
The precious water has been a witness to an unrelenting battle of ownership. The river symbolises sustenance and vitality,quenches the thirst of millions and shapes the destiny and economy of Karnataka and Tamilnadu.
The dispute is regarding allocation of water resources during periods of water scarcity ,its distribution during regular years, the establishment of reservoirs and dams along the river’s course. In order to address the needs of their expanding populations and agricultural activities,both states want a greater portion of this distribution.
The Cauvery Water Disputes Tribunal (CWDT) was formed in 1990 and was aimed at addressing water disputes involving Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Kerala, and Puducherry.
The Supreme Court,declared the Cauvery River a national resource and upheld the water-sharing arrangements determined by the CWDT in 2018.
Karnataka cites a rainfall deficit of 44% in Kodagu are between June to August.
In 2023, Tamil Nadu petitioned the Supreme Court for help in guaranteeing that Karnataka releases 24,000 cubic feet per second (cusecs) of water from its reservoir. Karnataka has argued in the SC that TN fails to recognise this year as a “distressed year”.
The Cauvery Water Regulation Committee, recommended Karnataka to release 3000 cusecs at Biligundlu starting from September 28th up to October 15th.
Image credit: The Hindu
BJP leader Basavaraj Bommai, has criticised the state government, accusing it of prioritising politics over the people’s welfare.Kumaraswamy, former Chief minister, emphasised the critical importance of water for farmers and questioned the Karnataka Government’s stance on this issue.
Protests across multiple districts of Karnataka and Tamil Nadu disrupted routine life.