Karnataka bandh
Bangalore bound Ashok Leyland BS III Suvarna Karnataka Sarige.Creative Commons/Rohit Ramakrishnan

Karnataka braces for a bandh on Saturday as several pro-Kannada organisations join hands to protest against the Tamil Nadu government for its attempt to stall the construction of Mekedatu dam on Cauvery river.

The bandh will be observed for 12 hours -- 6 am to 6 pm on18 April -- by pro-Kannada organisation Kannada Okkuta. The organisation's president, Vatal Nagaraj, said that 620 bodies, including government employees' unions, auto and truck drivers' unions, trade unions, and advocates associations have extended their support to the strike.

"We will stage peaceful protests and distribute pamphlets in various parts of the city to mark the bandh. We are confident that the strike will be total and peaceful," Citizen Matters quoted Nagaraj as saying.

However, the public transport authorities have decided to take caution and all offices and shops, are expected to remain closed. Medical stores and emergency services like ambulances will operate normally.

Precautionary measures to be taken on the day of Bandh: One must keep a watch on the situation throughout the day and must avoid moving out of the house, if not necessary.

Essential items and materials of daily life use must be bought a day in advance to avoid going out on the streets. Also, keep a close watch on the warnings and messages by the city police.

If at all there arises a need go out, ensure safety and try to get in touch with the police as several police teams will be deployed across the cities in Karnataka to ensure peace. Also, one must try to take the public transport, if available, instead of driving private vehicles.

Service that may be affected on Saturday

All the malls and cinema theatres have been closed down.

Bangalore Metropolitan Transport Corporation (BMTC) and Karnataka State Road Transport Corporation (KSRTC) confirmed that bus services will be marginal, and further decision would depend on the situation through the day.

"There will be skeletal services in the morning hours. We will decide for the rest of the day depending on the situation," Deccan Chronicle quoted KSRTC general manager (traffic) Vishwanath as saying.

Bangalore Metro Rail Corporation (BMRCL) too has decided to watch the situation before shutting down operations completely. "We are keeping a close watch and depending on what the police suggest, we will decide whether to ply fewer trains or not ply at all," BMRCL managing director Pradeep Singh Kharola said.

Autorickshaws, on the other hands, will remain completely paralysed. "We are extending full support to the bandh and our association autorickshaws will be off the roads," president of Adarsh Auto Drivers Union Manjunath said.

Bangalore Tourist Taxi Owners Association too will remain closed largely, apart from a few emergency trips to the airport.

TaxiForSure cabs will ply normally like other days.

Read: Why the bandh has been called.