Traffic between Bangalore and Mysore was hit on Sunday morning when more than 200 people from villages between the two cities staged protests on the highway.

“The members have all come under the banner of the Raithara Hitha Rakshana Samithi and are protesting about the Cauvery issue. All the protests are peaceful,” Mandya Superintendent of Police Koushalendra Kumar told The Hindu, adding, that the police are “trying to convince them not to obstruct the smooth flow of traffic.”

Mr. Kumar said the police have made arrangements to divert traffic to alternative routes, while appealing to commuters to avoid travelling on the Bangalore-Mysore Highway on Sunday.

KSRTC buses, meanwhile, have decided to ply on an alternative route. “Since the roads have been blocked, the buses will ply on the Kanakapura–Malavalli route instead of the Maddur–Mandya route,” said P. Ashok Kumar, Chief Traffic Manager, KSRTC. Fearing damage to the buses, he said Volvo services have been cancelled and will be resumed after the situation is brought under control.

Ashok Jayaram from Mandya who was leading one of the protests on the highway said, “There is drought in the State and we do not enough water. How can the Central government expect Karnataka to release water to Tamil Nadu in such a situation?”