All Those Bandhs

The KSRTC Strike: This was the first of the lot. A strike called on 25th of July by the workers union, for which we got two days of holiday while Christ University got none. The workers demanded a 35% pay rise but eventually settled for 12.5%.

The Mahadayi Dispute: You know that super long, super cool bridge to Panjim on the way to Goa? It’s on NH 66 (previously NH-17) if I remember right. The river below it is the Mandovi river. Also known as the Mahadayi, the one Congress-led Karnataka and BJP-led Goa are fighting over. On July 29th, the Mahadayi Water Disputes Tribunal (MWDT) rejected Karnataka’s plea to draw extra water by linking the Kalasa and Banduri tributaries of Mahadayi. This lead to violent protests in Belgavi, Ballari, Mandya, and Hubbli-Dharwad. A statewide bandh was then called for on July 30th.

A meeting was planned between the two CMs for October 21st, but was called off due to the Goa CM’s “health condition”. Farmers associations are currently on indefinite dharna in Belgavi.

The Cauvery Issue: According to the 2007 dispute tribunal, Karnataka was supposed to release water to Tamil Nadu for it’s third Samba rice cultivation which begins in August, but when the time came this year we cited water shortage problems and basically said we’d release only half the amount of water TN demanded. The Supreme Court then ordered that the two states meet in the middle and Karnataka release 15,000 cusecs of water per day, following which there was a bandh in Karnataka on the 9th of September. The SC got pissed off with the state for citing law and order issues and said it’s your problem so deal with it, but anyway reduced the amount to 12,000 cusecs on the 12th.

Then on the 13th of September, came that Monday before Bakrid when they kicked us out of college saying there’s violence outside so go through it and somehow get home safe. 2 people were killed in the unrest, and Section 144 was imposed. The next Monday, on the 19th, the SC reduced the amount by 3/4ths, to just 3000 cusecs, but later ordered for a further release of 6000.

The Karnataka Legislative assembly then held a special meeting and said No to the SC, refusing to release any water at all, after which on 30th September the SC yelled at them and said “Last chance just give TN the goddamn 6000 cusecs already!”. The Cauvery Water Management Board was then set up. Latest I heard, on 18th October the SC ordered Karnataka to release 2000 cusecs per day.