Bengaluru Bandh on 26 Sep over the Cauvery water dispute
Many groups such as farmers’ organizations and pro-Kannada activists have called for a Bandh in Bengaluru on 26 September 2023. This is due to a protest against the Karnataka government’s decision to release Cauvery water to Tamil Nadu.
This call for the bandh is predicted to disturb the regular life in the city as even driver unions and app-based auto rickshaws and cabs, and restaurant associations are backing the protest.
Karnataka Water Conservation Committee president, Kurubur Shanthakumar was the first person to propose the protest and announced the Bengaluru bandh over the Cauvery issue on September 26 (Tuesday).
At the same time, ex-MLA and pro-Kannada activist Vatal Nagaraj called a meeting of various organizations in the city to examine a date for a state-wide strike in Karnataka.
The disorder occurred as both leaders made announcements regarding the bandh, however, they later met and thought to announce finally about the protest and bandh on 25 September 2023. Shanthakumar, however, remained firm that he would not withdraw the bandh called for September 26.
Shanthakumar has requested schools, colleges, IT organizations, and the film industry’s chamber to announce a holiday in support of the bandh. He has also urged that the state government organize a special assembly session. A protest march is planned from Town Hall to Mysuru Bank Circle at 11 a.m. on September 26. The Aam Aadmi Party has also said that it will support the bandh.
“We request schools and colleges to remain closed. This is not a bandh call given by organizations but by the people of Bengaluru. IT companies and Film Chambers of Commerce should also extend their support to the bandh. Shops and commercial establishments should voluntarily shut down business,” said Shanthakumar, who is also the president of the Sugarcane Growers Association.
The Bengaluru bandh also has backing from cab services as Tanveer Pasha, president of the Ola Uber Drivers and Owner’s Association, assured the citizens that they will be taking part in the Bengaluru bandh.
This means that the cabs that return and go to the airport will also be affected. Pasha said in a statement, “There will be no compromise when it comes to land, language, and water. Without any second thoughts, we support the bandh.“
The Bangalore Metro Rail Corporation Limited (BMRCL) has ideas to operate Namma Metro services in their regular working style while state-run KSRTC and BMTC are contemplating their operations after understanding the law and order situation on that day.
Several businesses such as small and local establishments are also extending their support to the bandh and have decided to remain closed. PC Rao, president of the Bruhath Bangalore Hotels Association, has extended moral support for the bandh. But as usual, essential services, including hospitals, will stay accessible and open.
Bengaluru City police commissioner B Dayananda has guaranteed the citizens that all required security measures and precautions are being monitored carefully. Officers are on high-alert and taking a close watch on the highly sensitive areas in the Tamil Nadu-Karnataka borders as well.