Traffic on Mysuru-Bengaluru NH-275 held up for four hours; Police resort to lathi charge
Srirangapatna: Over 400 farmers of Hanakere near Mandya blocked the busy Mysuru-Bengaluru Expressway (National Highway 275) in a flash protest today demanding the construction of an underpass to facilitate their smooth movement on the access-controlled and tolled road.
The road block began at around 8.30 in the morning and farmers had brought many bullock carts and placed them across the road blocking the journey towards Bengaluru and towards Mysuru.
The bullock carts were made to stand across the road at many frequent intervals and this caused massive traffic jams on both sides of the Expressway that extended to many kilometres on either side.
The Police, who were caught unaware of the flash protest, tried to convince the irate villagers and farmers to move but they did not budge.
As a result of rasta roko, traffic was held up on the busy road from 8.30 am to 12 noon.
Vehicles were stranded up to more than 20 kilometres on the Highway. The Police finally resorted to a lathi charge to disperse the agitating farmers and villagers.
As the vehicular traffic lined up on the Expressway, the jurisdictional Mandya and Maddur Police made alternative arrangements through Maddur, K.M. Doddi and Malavalli.
Vehicles that had already reached Hanakere from both sides, however, had to wait for long hours in the scorching heat.
Though some of the protesters were cleared from the road at noon by force, the bullock carts and the animals were stranded on the Mysuru-Bengaluru Expressway, making the job of the Police even tougher.
Later, the Police managed to clear the Highway at around 12.30 pm but the agitating farmers were seen regrouping in spite of their leaders being arrested.
Villagers of Hanakere, Mallayyanadoddi, Bore and surrounding areas in Mandya District have been demanding an underpass as the Mysuru-Bengaluru Expressway hampered their movement from one side to another and due to this, they had to take a longer and circuitous route to reach their destinations.
“We have given many representations to the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) for an underpass to facilitate movement of people, livestock and also farm produce. Our pleas have fallen on deaf ears and even the elected representatives of Mandya have ignored our plight,” alleged Madhuchandan and Prasanna of the Karnataka Rajya Raitha Sangha.
As the protest intensified, National Highways Authority of India Chief Engineer Daivik visited the place and tried to placate the agitated farmers.
He told the protesting farmers that their concerns will be brought to the notice of the higher officers.
However, the Chief Engineer’s assurance did not find any takers in the crowd and farmer leaders tore the physical copies of the Expressway project plan.