Local farmer unions and Kannada organisations have called for a bandh in Bengaluru on September 26th to protest against the State government’s decision to release Cauvery water to Tamil Nadu.

Following the recommendation of the Cauvery Water Regulation Committee (CWRC), the Cauvery Water Management Authority (CWMA) recently directed Karnataka to keep releasing 5,000 cusecs of water to Tamil Nadu for an additional 15 days.

The bandh call has received support from 175 organisations across the state, per reports. Opposition parties, BJP, JDS, and others have also expressed their support for the call. Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaih has noted that the protests won’t be curtailed.

All private auto and taxi services are likely to be unavailable tomorrow as driver unions have supported the call for bandh. Airport taxis, too, are expected to cease services. State-run Karnataka State Road Transport Corporation (KSRTC) and Bangalore Metropolitan Transport Corporation (BMTC) are yet to decide on supporting the bandh call.

Some movie theatres will also be shut down in the city tomorrow, as the Kannada film industry too has voiced their support for the call. Numerous businesses, especially local and small ones, are likely to be closed in support of the bandh.

Bangalore Metro Rail Corporation Limited (BMRCL) would carry on with regular operations for Namma Metro services.

Hospitals, nursing homes, pharmacies, and government offices are among the essential services that will continue to be available.

The supply of Cauvery water has been a long-standing dispute between Karnataka and Tamil Nadu and has never reached an optimal resolution. JDS leader and former PM H.D. Devegowda has now written to PM Modi, urging him to intervene on the issue and solve the water crisis in Karnataka.

He has requested that the PM file a petition in the Supreme Court to appoint a committee of experts from the Center’s hydropower department to observe the actual situation in both States. “A neutral team from Karnataka and Tamil Nadu should be sent to investigate,” he noted in his letter.

Gowda also noted that there is just 51.10 TMC (thousand million cubic feet) of total storage in the Cauvery basin’s four reservoirs as of September 23, compared to the 112 TMC needed for standing crops and drinking water.

Chief Minister Siddaramaiah too welcomed Gowda’s action and insisted that PM’s involvement was necessary if the two States were to engage in conversation to resolve the conflict.