Bengaluru: Kannada outfits call for 12-hour Karnataka bandh on 26 September

Bengaluru (PTI): Several pro-Kannada outfits have called for a 12-hour Karnataka bandh on 26 September over the implementation of Kalasa-Banduri canal project, over which the state government has locked horns with neighbouring Goa.

‘Kannada Okkoota’ president Vatal Nagaraj under whose leadership the bandh has been called said the statewide bandh will be from 6 am to 6 pm.

Claiming support from several trade unions and Kannada Film Chamber, he said a protest march will be held here demanding implementation of Kalasa-Banduri canal project. Protests have also been planned across the state.

Several transport workers unions, autorickshaws and cab unions are supporting the bandh, while the state transport authorities are expected to take a call on operating buses depending on the situation.

Sensing the inconvenience that bandh may cause to students some private schools and colleges have declared holiday. Official sources said regional officials will take decision on declaring the holiday to schools and colleges depending on the situation tomorrow.

The Kalasa-Banduri Nala (diversion) project, which will utilise 7.56 tmcft of water from the inter-state Mahadayi river is being undertaken by Karnataka to improve drinking water supply to the twin cities of Hubballi-Dharwad and the districts of Belagavi and Gadag.

It involves building barrages across Kalasa and Banduri, tributaries of Mahadayi river,to divert 7.56 TMC to Malaprabha river which supplies drinking water needs of the twin cities.

Protests are on by several organisations and farmers across districts of North Karnataka demanding implementation of Kalasa-Banduri project.

The protest has intensified since the all party delegation lead by Siddaramaiah met Prime Minister Narendra Modi which turned out to be “inconclusive.”

A few senior Congress leaders expressed unhappiness about Prime Minister’s response to the all party delegation, BJP accused it of “misleading” the public and said the PM was positive about getting peaceful settlement to the issue.

Adequate security measures have been taken to see to that no untoward incidents occur, Additional Commissioner of Police (Bengaluru West) Pratap Reddy said.

He said additional forces will be deployed at bus stands, railway stations and other places where there will be heavy public movement. About 4,500 officials and police personnel will be deployed, besides 63 platoons of Karnataka State Reserve Police and City Reserve Police force.

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