MANGALORE: It was manna from heaven for the stranded passengers at the KSRTC bus stand here on Monday who were left without transport due to the anti-river diversion protest held under the aegis of Karavali Jeevanadhi Nethravathi Rakshana Samiti.

The restaurant at the bus stand which was open in the morning was shut down by the protesters leaving the people dependent on it high and dry.

They were served with vegetable pulao plus half a litre of packaged water by Mangalore South MLA J R Lobo. Nearly 400 persons, including passengers benefitted from the MLA’s largesse.

AICC member PV Mohan said the bandh was for a cause and they did not want to see public suffer, hence they wanted to distribute food.

Lobo spoke to these commuters, heard their grievances, gave them moral support and explained the situation as to why the bandh took place.

He told TOI: Ever since former CVM DV Sadananda Gowda sanctioned the project, I have raised it couple of times stressing that it should not be implemented without a proper study.

“The response to the bandh call shows the emotions of the people in this region are attached to River Nethravathi. The government should be for the people. We will tell the CM Siddaramaiah our concerns asking him to not to go ahead with the project,” he said.

Former MLA Vijayakumar Shetty said “the bandh has been successful which shows that the people are emotional connected with River Nethravathi.”

“He noted that many associations have joined hands with the samithi and people have cooperated in a massive way. This will continue till the government fulfills our demands,” he added.

Activists of various associations who have been supporting the bandh were also present on the occasion and rendered their help on the occasion.

“People of Dakshina Kannada are generous that they served us food even when they did not have any restaurants open here. I am really grateful to people who served food to all passengers here,” said Safiyulla, a passenger who arrived at KSRTC from Chitradurga.

KSRTC’s 580 schedules were terminated on Monday due to the bandh. The services started after 6pm on primary routes.

Leaders P V Mohan, Dennis D’Silva, T K Sudhir, Ramanand Bolar, Dinkar Shetty, Shashiraj Shetty Kolambe, M G Hegde, Jayakar Samarth, Nemiraj Shetty, Badruddin, Radhakrishna and others were present.

Courtesy: Times of India