Bandh by pro-Kannada outfits hits normal life in Karnataka

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Bengaluru, Sep 26: The 12-hour Karnataka bandh called by pro-Kannada outfits demanding implementation of the Kalasa-Banduri canal project, today hit normal life in the state.

Buses did not ply and most auto-rickshaws and taxis were off the road while schools and colleges remained shut during the bandh which passed off peacefully.

K'taka: Bandh hits normal life

The response to bandh call was dull in coastal districts. Buses resumed plying in the evening, cinema halls and malls that had remained closed too opened later. Police officials said the bandh was largely peaceful across the state.

Additional Commissioner of Police (Bengaluru East) said "bandh has been peaceful and no untoward incidents have occurred in the city."

Vatal Nagaraj, President of 'Kannada Okkoota', under whose leadership the bandh had been called, led a protest march from Town Hall to Freedom Park here.

Nagaraj, who met Chief Minister Siddaramaiah later, demanded that he should lead another delegation to the Prime Minister to find a solution to the issue. Siddaramaiah said implementation of the project would in no way affect Goa's interest.

"They are unnecessarily creating a fuss."

Stressing that issues like this should not be politicised, the CM said he would call for a meeting of Members of Parliament to discuss the further course of action.

The issue is now before the tribunal, and Karnataka is making efforts to resolve it outside the tribunal with Prime Minister's intervention for speedy settlement.

The Kalasa-Banduri Nala (diversion) project, which will utilise 7.56 tmc ft 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 in north Karnataka.

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 for the past several weeks by several organisations and farmers across districts of North Karnataka demanding implementation of Kalasa-Banduri project. The Chief Minister had recently led an all party delegation to the Prime Minister over it.

PTI

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