Cauvery Issue: Shutdown strike affects normal life in Tamil Nadu

cauvery protest

New Delhi, April 5: Tamil Nadu’s main opposition party – the DMK – along with other parties like Congress, CPI(M) and CPI will hold a state-wide bandh or shutdown today.

The reason behind the shutdown is the Cauvery water issue – a decades-old dispute between Tamil Nadu and its neighbouring state Karnataka. The DMK-led opposition parties are demanding that the Cauvery Management Board, as ordered by the Supreme Court, be set up immediately.

They have accused the central government of delaying the setting up of the Cauvery Management Board due to electoral gains in the upcoming Assembly election in Karnataka due next month.

Meanwhile, normal life was affected in Tamil Nadu on Thursday.

In Chennai, skeletal government buses were plying on the roads while autorickshaws stayed off.

But radio taxis were available.

Suburban and long distance train services were also being operated as usual, a Southern Railway official told IANS.

There were brief protests on the rail tracks in Salem and Tirunelvelli.

Members of the DMK including leader M.K. Stalin along with its allies gathered on the arterial Anna Salai here and protested against the setting up the CMB.

In Tirunelvelli, DMK cadres protested in front of a passenger train and but the police managed to disperse them.

In the hosiery town Tiruppur, units were shutdown in support of the strike.

However petrol bunks stayed open and milk supply was not affected.

As per reports reaching here, shops in Erode, Nagapattinam, Thanjavur, Tiruvarur, Sivaganga, Ramanathapuram downed their shutters.

In neighbouring Puducherry, transport services were affected while three buses belonging to Tamil Nadu State Transport Corporation were damaged.

The Supreme Court on February 16 reduced Tamil Nadu’s share of Cauvery water from 177.25 thousand million cubic feet (TMC), which was less than the 192 TMC allocated by a tribunal in 2007. Karnataka’s share of water was increased by 14.75 TMC.

The Centre failed to set up the CMB within six weeks of the apex court’s February 16 order. The deadline ended on March 29.


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