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Thursday, 12 September, 2002, 10:04 GMT 11:04 UK
Strike in India's hi-tech capital
Upstream Cauvery river
The Cauvery River: Disputed for more than a century
India's hi-tech city of Bangalore has been brought to a halt by a strike over a water dispute with neighbouring Tamil Nadu state.


There is a huge gap between water requirements and availability for domestic use. How is it possible to release water?

C Byre Gowda
The strike, called by local organisations, is in protest at the release of waters from the Cauvery River, which flows between Karnataka and Tamil Nadu states, following a Supreme Court ruling last week.

Colleges, schools and commercial establishments are closed and bus services have been cancelled.

Leading international software companies, including Infosys and Wipro, have also closed down their operations as a preventative measure.

Widespread action

Karnataka's film industry is backing the strike and cinemas across the state remain shut.

Overnight, protestors destroyed buses and police said they took more than 400 people into custody as a precautionary measure.
Map

Police are patrolling predominantly Tamil areas of the city where large-scale violence was witnessed during a similar strike in 1991.

Although the the Karnataka state authorities have reduced thequantity of water they are prepared to release, farmers and opposition leaders say the state still does not have enough to share with Tamil Nadu.

Centrist opposition leader in Karnataka, C Byre Gowda said: "There is a huge gap between water requirements and availability for domestic use. How is it possible to release water?"

Long running

The dispute has been running for more than a century between the two southern states, despite the Indian constitution defining Cauvery as an interstate river.

The river originates in Karnataka, flows through Tamil Nadu and parts of Kerala and Pondicherry.

The two regions signed an agreement in 1924 which failed to bring an end to the dispute.

Soon after, Kerala and Pondicherry also staked their claim to the river's waters.

In 1976, a new agreement was signed between all four states.

A report filed by a committee set up by the Indian Government in 1972, coupled with experts' recommendations, formed the basis of the new agreement.

But the dispute has continued following a failure to enforce the treaty.

See also:

11 Sep 02 | South Asia
09 Sep 02 | South Asia
05 Sep 02 | South Asia
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