Chennai, Aug 30: Tamil Nadu is witnessing a state-wide bandh today, with shops and establishments mainly in the Cauvery basin region remaining shut, as farmers protest demanding that Karnataka release Cauvery water for their farmlands. Some 1,000 farmers have been arrested in connection with the bandh, reports from Tamil Nadu said.
The road and rail roko protests have the backing of the opposition DMK, TMC, Congress as well as AAP.
Meanwhile, fearing violence and damage to public property, Karnataka has stopped inter-state bus services between the two states.
A Karnataka State Road Transport Corporation official said buses were plying only upto the Tamil Nadu-Karnataka border town of Hosur.
Tamil Nadu had sought the release of 50 tmcft of water from Karnataka for Samba crop irrigation, as per the Cauvery Water Disputes Tribunal, for 2016-17.
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Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah has said, however, that the state is facing a "distress situation" currently in the Cauvery catchment area and is not in a position to release water for Tamil Nadu's farms.
Following this, Tamil Nadu filed a plea in the apex court on August 22 seeking direction to Karnataka to release water within 10 days.
While the Supreme Court is yet to say anything in the matter, Siddaramaiah has said that Karnataka will stand its ground on the matter.
Siddaramaiah, who held an all-party meeting on the issue last week, believes that Tamil Nadu has approached the Supreme Court citing the overall rainfall situation in Karnataka rather than taking into account the "distress situation" in the Cauvery catchment area.
"We will explain the ground reality to the Supreme Court. We have so far released 29 TMC ft to Tamil Nadu despite our difficult situation. Water in Tamil Nadu's Mettur dam is upto 34 tmcft and they can manage the situation. We are in a crisis", he said.