Pro-Kannada outfits have given a call for ‘Karnataka Bandh’ on January 25 to press for the intervention of Prime Minister Narendra Modi in the Mahadayi river water sharing row between the state and neighbouring Goa. Vatal Nagaraj, leader of Kannada Chalavali Vatal Paksha (KCVP), a pro-Kannada outfit, claimed that about 2,000 pro-Kannada outfits had backed the bandh call. He said the organisations had decided to speak to government officers and employees, lorry owners, fuel service stations, education institutions and appeal to them to cooperate in ensuring that the Bandh is a success. The Kannada film industry has already agreed to support the bandh, Nagaraj said.
The Kannada organisations have also decided to show black flag to Modi when he visits Karnataka on January 28 for the concluding ceremony of BJP’s Nava Karnataka Parivarthana Yatra,a state-wide programme against the Congress government. Karnataka has locked horns with Goa over the Mahadayi river sharing issue to supply water for Hubballi and Dharwad towns for drinking water through Kalasa-Banduri canal. Recently, Goa Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar said he would go by the decision taken by the Mahadayi river water sharing tribunal. Earlier he had written to state BJP chief B S Yeddyurappa lending his support to resolve the Mahadayi river water sharing issue.
Karnataka is seeking release of 7.56 tmcft water by Goa from the Mahadayi river for the Kalasa-Banduri Nala project, being undertaken to improve the drinking water supply to Hubballi-Dharwad and districts of Belagavi and Gadag in the northern region. The Kalasa-Banduri Nala (diversion) project involves building barrages across Kalasa and Banduri, tributaries of Mahadayi River, to divert 7.56 tmcft to the Malaprabha river which supplies drinking water needs of the region. On December 27 last year, a bandh was observed in five north Karnataka districts over the same issue following a call by farmer groups.