- The City Metro, state buses, taxis, autos and commercial establishments will be shut from 6 am to 6 pm
- The bandh call has received wide-spread support from a large number of unions, associations and groups
A dawn-to-dusk Karnataka bandh called by pro-Kannada outfits to protest against the Supreme Court's direction to release Cauvery river water to Tamil Nadu will throw normal life out of gear.
Officials said with the bandh on the emotive Cauvery issue is being supported by several organisations, unions and political parties.
Keeping security of students in mind, schools and colleges have declared a holiday tomorrow, and attendance at government offices will not be compulsory, according to officials.
While some private companies have declared a holiday, others are making alternative arrangements for 'work from home' for employees.
Tamil channels will not be aired tomorrow with Karnataka Cable Operators Association supporting the bandh. Shops and establishments, markets, petrol bunks, hotels and malls are likely to remain shut, besides banks.
City transport services to be effected:
The Bengaluru Metro Rail Transport Service and all the four transport service corporations will keep off the roads.
Transport Minister Ramalinga Reddy said authorities at the Karnataka State Road Transport Corporation, North West Karnataka State Road Transport Corporation, East Road Karnataka State Transport Corporation and Bengaluru Metropolitan Transport Corporation have been asked to operate the buses only after monitoring the on-ground situation.
"Protests may turn violent, and people may resort to vandalism. Hence if the situation is calm, the buses will operate. Else they will ply only after six in the evening," he said.
This apart, the Karnataka State Motor Cab and Maxicab Welfare Association will also take part in the bandh.
"In Bengaluru alone, 20,000 tourists cabs, buses and tempos will be off the roads. We want to send a message to the Centre that they simply cannot play with Karnataka's sentiments and emotions associated with dams and farmers," said, General Secretary, Karnataka State Motor Cab and Maxicab Welfare Association.
"We condemn this SC verdict and support pro-Kannada organisations. Even our autos have been asked not to ply," said N Manunath, President, Adarsh Auto and Taxi Drivers Association.
Bengaluru city fortified:
Elaborate security arrangements have been made to maintain law and order. Extra forces have been deployed with two companies each from Kerala and Andhra Pradesh, one from Maharashtra and ten companies of central forces, police said.
Speaking at a press conference, City Police Commissioner NS Meghrik assured that the city would be under tight security.
In Bengaluru, more than 14,000 police personnel will be deployed. 36 Karnataka State Reserve Police, 30 City Armed Reserve platoons and one company Rapid Action Force have been deployed.
All the 16 Deputy Commissioners, 21 Assistant Commissioner of Police, 105 Police Inspectors, 177 Sub-Inspectors and 327 Head Constables, 929 police constables and 1,976 women police personnel, will be deployed.
"Since there will be Ganesha immersion at various places, the security arrangements has been arranged for that as well," said the Commissioner.
He added that all the sensitive areas would be under high-security cover, and the intelligence wing will also be keeping an eye.
State Government employees and Public sectors employees extend support to Bandh:
BP Manje Gowda, President, State Government Employees Association expressed anger over the verdict favouring Tamil Nadu.
"We are 6.4 lakh employees in Karnataka. The KRS and Kabini dams are a lifeline for farmers and people in South Karnataka. At present we do not have sufficient water for drinking purpose, how can the Court expect us to release water to Tamil Nadu? If we have enough water, we do not need a court to tell us to share. Hence we condemn this verdict and extend support to all the organisations that are fighting for the cause," he said.
Echoing similar sentiments, union members affiliated with HAL and BEML have expressed solidarity, "Irrespective of the party and forums; all are coming under one banner and protesting against this order to release 10,000 cusecs of water to Tamil Nadu," said, Ashokan, Vice President HAL SC/ST Employees Association.
BEML which has its unit both at Bengaluru and Mysuru said that also will be participating in the bandh.
"We took a decision to work on Sunday and have announced Friday as a holiday to participate in Bandh," said, Domlur Srinivas Reddy, President of Bharath Earth Movers Employees Association.
Government Hospitals make their arrangement for Friday bandh:
Public hospitals like Bowring, Lady Curzon, Vani Vilas and Victoria Hospital - where over 3,000 patients are seen every day at the outpatient department - have made special arrangements to pick up staff.
Dr PK Devadas, Dean Bengaluru Medical College and Research Institute (BMCRI) said,"We have made arrangements to pick and drop staff. Hospitals under the Bangalore Medical College and Research Institute will also depute their post-graduate students. All the three major hospitals associated with Medical Education Department will be on high alert," he said.
Leaders criticise State government:
HD Kumaraswamy, former Chief Minister, who met farmers in Mandya on Thursday, lashed at the Siddaramaiah-led Congress government.
"The state government has failed in both the Mahadayi and the Cauvery water issue. Farmers in North Karnataka and South Karnataka are suffering due to the negligence of the government. I will undertake a padayatra to highlight the failures of the government," said Kumaraswamy.
“Karnataka Government offered 10,000 cusecs to Tamil Nadu without being ordered. Therefore the Supreme Court ordered releases of 15,000 cusecs of water. It seems that the Govt failed to highlight the plight and agony of Karnataka farmers and made it into an all or nothing game. Instead, the Chief Minister and the government should have communicated that Karnataka will try to minimise the discharge as much as possible. The big impact of SC verdict on Cauvery is on drinking water supply - including to Bengaluru, - and here too the government failed to depict the pain of Bengaluru citizens," said Rajeev Chandrashekhar, MP Rajya Sabha.
He also held the state government responsible for losing the case in Supreme Court due to poor legal strategy " I demand Chief Minister Siddaramiah to immediately announce a financial compensation to all farmers impacted by the SC order and release of the Cauvery water," added MP.
Chief Minister Siddaramiah made an appeal for peace and said there should be no damage to public property during the bandh.
"We are making all required arrangements. Bandh should be peaceful, and no untoward incident should happen. Those who have called for bandh should also take care," he added.
Seeking cooperation from public and organisations in maintaining peace, Home Minister G Parameshwara said the issue is of the entire state and the government had to take certain decisions within the framework of the law.
'Kannada Okkoota', led by Kannada Chaluvali Vatal Paksha leader Vatal Nagaraj will be holding a "massive" protest march from Town Hall to Freedom Park in the city in the morning.
The Cauvery row erupted after the Supreme Court on Monday directed to Karnataka to release 15,000 cusecs to Tamil Nadu for the next ten days to address the plight of farmers there.
Last Updated 31, Mar 2018, 6:36 PM