Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Cauvery protests continue to disrupt traffic

Cauvery protests continue to disrupt traffic

The Hindu

Citizens forced to spend gruelling hours on clogged roads, bearing the scorching sun and thick smoke

# Vokkaligara Sangha takes out massive procession on Monday
# Human chain organised on Old Madras Road

BANGALORE: There seems to be no immediate relief to the ordeal Bangloreans are facing for the past three weeks following traffic jams caused by demonstrations against the final award of the Cauvery Water Disputes Tribunal.

Since the tribunal announced its award on February 5, traffic disruptions have become the order of the day. Hapless citizens have been forced to spend gruelling hours on the clogged roads, bearing the scorching sun and the thick smoke emitted by the stranded vehicles.

The situation was no different on Monday.

Traffic came to a near halt in the central parts of the city when the members of Vokkaligara Sangha took out a massive procession to protest against the tribunal award.

About 3,000 people, riding bullock carts and carrying ploughs, took out a procession from the Vokkaligara Sangha office on K.R. Road to Raj Bhavan.

As the procession passed through the busy J.C. Road, it was a bumper-to-bumper ride on J.C. Road, R.V. Road, N.R. Road, Mission Road, Lalbagh Road, Mysore Road flyover, City Market, Silver Jubilee Park Road, Kempegowda Road and Nrupatunga Road for nearly one hour.

As the procession moved from the N.R. Square to Banappa Park, traffic came to a halt for a few minutes.

"There was no hold-up as such. The vehicular movement was slow and we made necessary traffic deviations," Assistant Commissioner of Police (Central) K. Eshwar Prasad told The Hindu . As the police did not allow the procession towards the Raj Bhavan, the protesters held a public meeting at Banappa Park.

Later, the Vokkaligara Sangha leaders submitted a memorandum to Governor T.N. Chaturvedi at the Raj Bhavan, the police said.

`Reject award'

Writer M. Chidanandamurthy on Monday said the Government should reject the final award of Cauvery Water Disputes Tribunal.

Speaking to presspersons here he said: "Karnataka should get at least 416 tmcft of water to irrigate 18 lakh acres of land."

Quoting the late irrigation expert Dr. S.G. Balekundri, Mr. Chidanandamurthy said that estimated requirement of water to irrigate 11.2 lakh acres was around 312 tmcft. He also said that the Cauvery issue should not mask the demand for classical status to Kannada.

Human chain

The ITI Kannada Hitha Rakshana Samithi organised a human chain on Old Madras Road, off the ITI Colony Gate, to protest against the tribunal award.

Members of 18 Kannada organisations from K.R. Puram, Ramamurthynagar, Kalkere, Koudenahalli, Vijanapura and Nagavarapalya participated in the protest. Kannada Chaluvali leader and MLA Vatal Nagaraj addressed the protesters.

Vehicular movement on Old Madras Road was affected for sometime following the demonstration, the police said.

Akhila Karnataka Shivarajkumar Sena Samithi held a protest meeting in front of the Mahatma Gandhi statue on Mahatma Gandhi Road.

Addressing the gathering, Mr. Shivarajkumar appealed to the protesters to carryout peaceful protests.

Film director S.V. Rajendra Singh participated in the dharna.


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