Tamil Nadu observes bandh for drought-hit farmers, receives mixed reponses

Tamil farmers during their protest demanding loan waiver and compensation for crop failure
The opposition parties led by the Dravida Munnetra Kazhaghan (DMK) on Tuesday received mixed responses on the state-wide shutdown in support of drought-hit farmers.

While the shops and hotels remain closed in Chennai, public transportation was not affected in the city, but only in southern parts of Tamil Nadu. 

Schools were closed due to yearly holidays, whereas, government offices remained open in Chennai. Moreover, film shootings were halted across the city and theatres were forced to be shut. 

The bandh was called by DMK, Congress, CPI(M), CPI, VCK, IUML and a host of trade unions affiliated to the opposition parties, farmers bodies, the film fraternity and other organisations, including a lorry operators association who pledged support to the general shutdown.

According to government sources, buses were running normally in Chennai, with around 3,800 buses functioning in 750 routes with police personnel on the board.

Petrol bunks were operating normally but employees were seen wearing black badges in support of the drought-hit farmers. 

Outside Chennai, the bandh received a good response especially in the Cauvery Delta, which is the food bowl of Tamil Nadu. In Thanjavur, along with most of shops and hotels being closed, buses were not running. 

In Ariyallur district, over 5,000 shops were closed, while buses were running with police escorts.

Even in the neighbouring Union Territory of Puducherry, shops were closed. Most of the units at Tirupur, knitwear hub of the country were closed.

Major tourist destination Rameswaram received low business since hotels and shops were closed.

In Tiruchy, which is the centre of the State, buses and autos were running but shops were closed. Gandhi market, which is the one of the major trading hub for south India, over 70 per cent of the shops were closed.

In Madurai, one of the major trading hubs in the state, the vegetable markets were closed.

Koyambedu market in Chennai, which is the largest in South Asia, was also shut.

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