Ever since tensions engulfed the two states over Cauvery water dispute, vehicles (except for ambulances) are not being allowed across the Karnataka-Tamil Nadu border, leaving travellers stranded at the border to find their way to their destinations.
For the last few days, there have been many reports about people having to walk several kilometre and hire private transport to travel across the border, as vehicles bearing Tamil Nadu registration are being prevented from entering into Karnataka and vice versa.
Sridhar, who was travelling from Chennai to Bengaluru with his octogenarian father in a cab that he had hired, was left stranded at the Karnataka border arch. What should have taken a maximum of 5 hours took him a painful eight hours.
“My father is a cancer patient and is on heavy medication. We started at around 4:30am on Sunday so that we could reach Bengaluru before 10 am. But the police stopped our vehicle at the arch, which is a couple of kilometres from the Attibele toll gate. They asked us to get off and arrange for another vehicle from Bengaluru. After an hour of struggle we managed to fix with a travel agent for Rs 2,000. Even then we had to board the car from the Attibele toll gate. We had to ‘give an extra Rs 400 to the cab driver, who drove us from Chennai, to drop us till the gate,” he said.
A source from Krishnagiri toll gate in Tamil Nadu, which is the first toll gate after crossing Karnataka border, told The News Minute that this has been going on since September 12 after there were reports about many buses and drivers being attacked in Karnataka.
“Tamil Nadu police have been very vigilant in these areas. Only ambulances are being allowed to pass. Two police vehicles provide escort to every 20 vehicles at the border," he said.
Bala Subramani, a travel agent said that his business has been affected by this change.
“Even if we decide to go to Chennai via Andhra Pradesh, the vehicles permit is expensive. For more than a week we have been going till Attibele and returning empty. Sometimes people stranded near the Karnataka arch hire us,” he said.
Some vehicles are also changing their number boards, he said.
“We are carrying a sticker with some TN registration numbers. As soon as we reach the arch, we change my number board. The same is being done by cab drivers from the other side of the border. Many buses plying to both states are of Andhra Pradesh registration,” he said.