The morning-to-evening Bengaluru bandh — to protest against Karnataka being forced to release Cauvery water to Tamil Nadu — had a significant impact on the city’s economic activities, leading to the closure of most shopping malls, restaurants, hotels, and establishments along arterial roads.
In response to the bandh, even the State government declared a holiday for schools and colleges. Additionally, Bangalore University postponed exams to a later date, and many companies allowed their employees to work from home.
The city experienced reduced movement, resulting in sparse traffic and fewer app-based cabs and auto-rickshaws on the roads.
Although Karnataka State Road Transport Corporation (KSRTC), Bengaluru Metropolitan Transport Corporation (BMTC), and other transport corporations’ operations continued.
However, the BMTC operated its services at a reduced frequency due to decreased passenger numbers. Similarly, the Bangalore Metro Rail Corporation Ltd (BMRCL) witnessed low footfall at stations, and the KSRTC suspended several inter-city services from Bengaluru due to the lack of passengers.
Except for incidents such as a group of farmers staging semi-nude demonstrations and a suicide attempt by a farmer, no untoward incidents occurred. Police detained some of the pro-Kannada activists in places like Town Hall. To prevent unforeseen incidents, Bengaluru police imposed Section 144 in the city.
The call for the city-wide bandh came from the Karnataka Jala Samrakshana Samiti, an umbrella group of farmers’ associations and other organisations led by farmer leader Kuruburu Shanthakumar.
In the bandh, which was called to express discontent, various organisations have jointly called for a day-long strike, spanning from morning to evening, to oppose the release of Cauvery water to Tamil Nadu on Tuesday.
The issue erupted after Karnataka was ordered to release 5,000 cusecs of water to Tamil Nadu by the Cauvery Water Management Authority (CWMA). On Tuesday, the Cauvery Water Regulation Committee in New Delhi recommended Karnataka release 3,000 cusecs of water per day at Biligundlu beginning at 8 a.m. on September 28 until October 15.
A statewide bandh on September 29 was announced on Monday under the banner of Kannada Okkuta, led by Kannada activist Vatal Nagaraj.