Jan 25 Karnataka bandh: Buses, metro and private cabs likely to run

The bandh has been called to highlight the farmer’s agitation with regard to the Mahadayi water sharing issue.
 Jan 25 Karnataka bandh: Buses, metro and private cabs likely to run
Jan 25 Karnataka bandh: Buses, metro and private cabs likely to run
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With the Confederation of Pro-Kannada Organisations calling for a bandh on January 25 and February 4, the Centre of Indian Trade Unions said that government-run buses will ply that day.

On Monday, President of the Confederation of Pro-Kannada Organisations, Vatal Nagaraj, had called for a state-wide bandh on January 25 and a separate bandh in Bengaluru on February 4, with regard to the Mahadayi water sharing issue. Prime Minister Narendra Modi is expected to visit Bengaluru on February 4.

“KSRTC and BMTC buses will ply in the state on January 25. However, regarding BMTC buses stopping services on February 4, we have not yet decided,” said Anantha Subbarao, General Secretary of All-India Trade Union Congress (AITUC).

Reacting strongly to this, Vatal Nagaraj told TNM that it is the duty of trade unions to support the bandh when the issue with regard to Karnataka’s farmers.

“How can trade unions not support the bandh? They have to. It is not right that they are planning to work that day. I am guaranteeing that the bandh will be effective,” Nagaraj said.

Meanwhile the BMTC and KSRTC bus drivers who are a part of the Transport Corporation’s Kannada Sangha said that they are supporting the bandh.

Speaking to TNM, a member of AITUC, said that there are many unregistered unions and the Kannda Sangha was one of them.

“If the drivers do not show up for work, then services will be hit; but the services will not be stopped,” the member added.

The Bengaluru Metro will be fully operational on both days of the bandh. “We will not stop services. If and only if there is a hindrance to the safety of the passengers, we will inform the police and stop services. However, for now it has been decided that the metro will run without any hassle,”said Vasanth Rao, the Public Relations Officer of Namma Metro.

Though private taxi drivers union said on Tuesday morning that it was unlikely that Ola and Uber cabs will operate during the bandh, they changed their position by evening. "We will be working that day. We support the bandh, but we may not take taxis off the road." said Tanveer Pasha, President of Ola, TaxiForSure and Uber Drivers Association. TNM will update this copy and publish updates as and when more unions decide on joining or not joining the bandh.

The bandhs are being called in order to put pressure on the Centre to resolve the decades-long Mahadayi water-sharing issue.

Kurubara Shantakumar, President of the Rajya Raitha Sangha, told TNM that the bandh will only inconvenience the common man, but won’t affect political leaders.

“Till now, we have had three bandhs in the state regarding the Mahadayi issue. Did it make any difference? No, it did not. How can he call for a bandh without consulting the farmers, who are the ones being affected by this issue?” he asked.

“We have to come up with new ways of agitating. What have all the previous bandhs done? Nothing. Leaders both in the Central and state governments are just cheating us. Now that a bandh has been called for, who is to say that the Prime Minister will not cancel his visit? What would be the point then?” Shantakumar added.

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