Mekedatu dam issue: Rail, road rokos mark TN farmers’ bandh

PTI Chennai | Updated on January 24, 2018 Published on March 28, 2015

Hosur municipality bus stand wore a deserted look on Saturday as State transport corporation buses and private buses stayed off the roads in view of the bandh called in Tamil Nadu to protest Karnataka's plans to go ahead with work on the Mekedatu reservoir on the Cauvery.

A contingent of Tamil Nadu Police posted at the State border in Athibelli on Saturday.

Members of the Makkal Kalai Ilakkiya Kalagam protest against Karnataka's plan to build a new dam across the Cauvery near Mekedatu at Tiruchi Railway Junction on Saturday. -- G. GNANAVELMURUGAN

VCK party members blocking hold a protest at Tiruchi Railway Junction on Saturday against Karnataka's plan to construct a new dam across the Cauvery near Mekedatu. -- G. GNANAVELMURUGA

The day-long State-wide bandh in Tamil Nadu, called by farmers and backed by Opposition parties and trade unions, protesting Karnataka’s move to build a new dam across the Cauvery in Mekedatu today evoked a good response in the delta region of the state but life remained largely unaffected in TN.

The bandh, called by the Coordination Committee of All Farmers’ Associations, saw shops and commercial outlets downing their shutters in the delta region, where farmers depend on the Cauvery’s water for irrigation.

Public and private transport services operated as usual in most parts of the state. Peaceful protests and road and rail rokos marked the bandh across the state, police said.

A majority of shops and offices in the city remained open.

Establishments and retail outlets, however, downed shutters in the Cauvery delta districts, including Thanjavur, Tiruchirappalli, Thiruvarur, Nagapattinam and Cuddalore.

Shops were shut in Karur, Erode, Dharmapuri, Nilgiris and areas close to Karnataka such as Hosur and Sathyamangalam.

Eight State-run transport corporations operated buses as usual, though employees belonging to Opposition trade unions refrained from work in several locations, officials said.

Public transport operations between Tamil Nadu and Karnataka remained largely suspended as buses were halted at state borders in Hosur and Satyamangalam.

Taxi and auto operators affiliated to the Left trade unions did not ply their vehicles. Sand and tipper lorry operators too did not operate their vehicles.

Farmers’ outfits and parties, including the DMK and MDMK, resorted to rail blockades at locations including Egmore and Central Railway stations here and Thanjavur, while the Viduthalai Chiruthaigal Katchi cadres staged a similar protest in Coonoor in the Nilgiris District and Tiruchirappalli. All the protesters were detained, police said.

Similarly, protest demonstrations were held across the state, including Thiruvarur, where functionaries belonging to farmers’ outfits and political parties staged an agitation near the bus stand. Protests were peaceful and incident-free.

The bandh was called to protest Karnataka’s move to build a new dam at Mekedatu across the Cauvery river.

The DMK, DMDK, PMK, MDMK, Congress, and Left parties are among those supporting the bandh. The ruling AIADMK has neither supported the shutdown nor opposed it.

The state Assembly proceedings slated for today were postponed to Monday in response to views expressed by members of the Business Advisory Committee to Speaker P Dhanapal.

On the political front, a delegation of MPs belonging to the state is set to call on Prime Minister Narendra Modi this evening in Delhi seeking his intervention to stop Karnataka from taking up the proposal, which Tamil Nadu contends is a violation of the Cauvery Water Disputes Tribunal’s final award.

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Published on March 28, 2015
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