Bengaluru: Karnataka shutdown for water project hits normal life

Bengaluru, Sep 26 (IANS) A day-long shutdown across Karnataka on Saturday demanding early implementation of a canal project to supply river water to state’s parched districts disrupted normal life in many cities and towns.

“The shutdown was complete and peaceful, thanks to overwhelming support from the people across the state. We hope the central and state government will realise the urgency of getting water to the parched districts,” Kannada Chalavali Vatal Paksha president Vatal Nagaraj told reporters here.

The canal project involves building barrages across Kalasa and Banduri tributaries of Mahadayi river to divert 7.6 tmc (thousand million cubic) feet of water to Malaprabha river for supplying it to the three northern districts of Belagavi, Dharwad and Gadag, about 500 km from Bengaluru.

Absence of public and private transport and closure of shops, markets, hotels, restaurants, malls, petrol bunks and cinema theatres from dawn to dusk kept people at home till evening.

Thousands of passengers arriving in Bengaluru from outstations in trains and inter-state buses earlier in the day were stranded at railway stations and bus terminals, as taxis, auto and city buses kept off roads.

As a precautionary measure, government-run and private schools and colleges also remained closed, with many of them declaring holiday on Friday.

Even at the Bengaluru airport at Devanahalli, 40 km away from the city, hundreds of passengers were held up on arrival, as taxis did not operate.

Though the 12-hour shut down evoked mixed response in coastal, central and southern towns of the state, it was a complete success in Bengaluru, Mysuru, Hubbali-Dharwad, Belagavi, Gadag, Ballari, Bagalkot and Vijapura, as evident from deserted roads and state highways, closure of shops and eateries.

In the state capital, air pollution was 75 percent less than on normal days or weekends, as diesel buses, trucks, cars and autos did not ply and private vehicle users found deserted roads a joy to ride without the usual gridlock.

About, 1,000 people, including women took part in a rally from Town Hall to Freedom Park in the city centre where a public meeting was held to explain the reason for the shutdown and how the parched districts were reeling under drought due to deficit monsoon this year.

Defending the shutdown, a second this month after trade unions observed a similar one on September 2 for other reasons, Nagaraj said it was necessary to highlight the plight of the people, especially farmers in the absence of water resources in the dry region.

Later, Nagaraj presented a memorandum to Chief Minister Siddaramaiah, seeking early implementation of the water project to provide relief to the affected people.

Karnataka bandh demanding Kalasa-Banduri canal project begins

Bengaluru, (PTI): Normal life was affected in the IT city and other parts of
Karnataka today following a 12-hour statewide bandh called by several pro-Kannada outfits demanding implementation of Kalasa-Banduri canal project, over which state government has locked horns with neighbouring Goa.

With various public transport unions supporting the bandh, buses were not plying, while availability of auto rickshaws and taxis remained scarce.

People coming to the city from far of places were seen stranded at bus stands and railway stations following non-availability of buses to reach their destination. They even alleged taxis and auto rickshaws of over charging.

Incidents of ‘rail roko’ were reported at Mysuru, Hassan, Hubballi, Dharwad and Tumkuru stations.

Some private schools and colleges had declared holiday. Education Department has also declared holiday at several places.

Vatal Nagaraj, president of ‘Kannada Okkoota’, under whose leadership the bandh has been called said, “Calling for bandh was necessary to protect the interests of people of Karnataka.” Alleging MP’s across party lines failed to raise the issue in Parliament, he demanded their resignation.

The bandh was supported by several trade unions as well as Kannada film industry. A ‘massive’ protest march has been organised in the city as part of the bandh.

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 an all-party delegation lead by Chief Minister Siddaramaiah met Prime Minister Narendra Modi which turned out to be “inconclusive.”

As 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 Modi was positive about getting peaceful settlement to the issue.

Adequate security measures were taken to ensure that no untoward incidents occur, Additional Commissioner of Police (Bengaluru West) Pratap Reddy had yesterday said.

About 4,500 officials and police personnel have been deployed in the city besides 63 platoons of Karnataka State Reserve Police and City Reserve Police Force.


  1. Vaatala Naagaraaja is a failed politician who made a living out of agitation!! I can’t believe this character is still around!! Back in 90s, I remember a local daily in Mysore exposing his hypocrisy and pointed out how he was sending his own kids to English-medium schools in Mysore while shutting down all English medium schools back in his constituency (chamaraaja nagara?) I am opposed to these Bandhs. Those who call for bandh should be made to pay a minimum of Rs.50 crores for causing all the inconvenience and disruption.

    • Those who call for bandh should be made to pay a minimum of Rs.50 crores for causing all the inconvenience and disruption.- ಜಸ್ಟೀಸ್ ರಾಂಪಣ್ಣ

      All rise! ಜಸ್ಟೀಸ್ ರಾಂಪಣ್ಣ is presiding hereabouts and that too by sitting in Yumreeka. :). By the way, a few questions here:

      1. How exactly did you arrive at the figure of Rs. 50 crores?

      2. Does the same figure apply when it is Akhanda Bharatha Bundh? Or will it be multiplied times the no. of states… ..or will it be a genuine pre-estimate of loss to revenue etc?

      3. And pyare sir’ji Rampaji, what would the figure amount to when Parliament is disrupted?

      4. Can this figure of 50 crores lakhs (or more – depending on your answer to point 2 above) penalty/damages be applied retrospectively – as in ‘retrospective tax’? After all, the BJP hold the record for the max disruption in Parliament.

      Over to you Justice’ji. 🙂

    • Vaatala Naagaraaja is a failed politician who made a living out of agitation!! – RampaNNA

      Why does that VERDICT remind me of a certain fellow called Advani?

      At a government function on Friday, Home Minister Rajnath Singh and Finance Minister Arun Jaitley moved the late Deen Dayal Upadhyay, founder of the BJP’s former avatar the Bharatiya Jana Sangh, from the pantheon of those who built the party to the ranks of those who built India. The function to mark his 99th birth anniversary saw a bastion collapse. An RSS man was honoured at the Nehru Memorial.

      A few kilometres away at an Eid Milan organised by the BJP’s Shahnawaz Hussain, party patriarch L K Advani sat beside his daughter Pratibha, accepting greetings. There were not many BJP leaders jostling to greet him. But for Mr Advani, groomed by Deen Dayal Upadhyay, September 25 held more significance. Exactly 25 years ago, he had set off on a journey that would transform the national political landscape. Forever.

      On September 25, 1990, Mr Advani was on a saffron rath at Somnath in Gujarat. Surrounded by a sea of saffron flags and lakhs of supporters. He couldn’t hear his own voice – such was the din. He was starting the Ram Janambhoomi Rath Yatra.

      At the Eid Milan I asked Advani, now 87, “Can a yatra succeed now like your first one did?” He looked up. With a faint smile and a twinkle in his eye he said, “Yes it can. Depends on what the subject is.”

      Politics can be a cruel space. 25 years ago no one could have predicted that on 25 September today he would be sitting alone at an Eid Milan. His party rules the country with a majority. His one-time protégé; and RSS pracharak Narendra Modi, the man who organised his 1990 Rath Yatra, is the prime minister. Arun Jaitley, Sushma Swaraj, Anant Kumar and others groomed by him are shaping the Bharatiya Janata Party.

      In 2014, when the Narendra Modi- Amit Shah duo took charge of the party, Mr Advani was excluded from the party’s decision making bodies and consigned to a “Margdarshak mandal” or guidance committee. The committee has never met.

      After his Somnath to Ayodhya yatra, the BJP rose dramatically. From a dismal two seats in the Lok Sabha in 1984, to 88 in 1989, 120 in 1991 and 187 in 1996. In 2014, the party won over 280 seats, coming to power a fourth time. But today, the structure built over Mr Advani’s yatra doesn’t visibly recognise him as the foundation.

      BJP old-timers recall that in 1990, Narendra Modi as the party’s Organization Secretary in Gujarat, had held a crucial briefing about Mr Advani’s rath yatra about 10 days before it began. That was Modi’s first brush with the national political stage. The rath yatra opened the doors to Delhi for him. The association grew. After the 2002 Gujarat riots, then Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee wanted Chief Minister Modi to resign. But Mr Advani used his clout and shielded him.
      Quite a success, your Margadarshaka, eh?

      Don’t be SO SELECTIVE ya Rampu. 🙂

        • Please note that this report is on Vataala Naagaraaja, not on Advani!! What a joker you are!! LOL – Maha Joker Rampa

          Maha Joker.. please LEARN how to read. Pl. dont MACK up stories like your PS does! 🙂

        • Original R.Pai – “Joker Praveena Pinto,
          Please note that this report is on , not on Advani!! What a joker you are!! LOL”

          Sir, presently Advani is the RSS’s own “Vataala Naagaraaja”!!! Why grudge the fact?

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