The Bandh called by opposition parties with support from farmers, traders, students, lawyers, film associations to press the Centre to set up the Cavuery Management Board (CMB) has affected normal life in Tamil Nadu and Puducherry.
The bandh has hit public transport as buses were off roads and shops and hotels remained shut.
The main opposition party Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK), along with Congress, the Communist parties and regional parties including Viduthalai Chiruthai Katchi (VCK) and Manithaneya Makkal Katchi (MMK), have called for the bandh demanding the setting up of the CMB as per a Supreme Court order. The apex court on February 16, directed the Centre to set up the authority to control the issue between Karnataka and Tamil Nadu, within six weeks.
The Centre had approached the Supreme Court during at the end of March, seeking some clarification regarding the interpretation of its judgement.
Meanwhile, Tamil Nadu approached the Supreme Court alleging contempt of court against the Centre for not setting up the Board, as the lack of action violates the Court's order. The matter is listed for hearing on April 9.
The opposition parties allege that the ruling All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK) is weak in terms of putting pressure on the Centre to implement the CMB.
On Thursday, as the Bandh declared by the opposition parties commenced, limited number of state transport vehicles were seen plying on Chennai's roads. Most of the shops and hotels are closed too.
The traders' association said that around 2.1 million shops across the state will be shut today as part of the protest. Petrol pumps have announced to stay open during the day.
Taking cue from the Jallikattu protest which shook the city last year, even though it was concentrated in the Marina Beach, the goverrnment has beefed up security in locations like Marina Beach and Besant Nagar Beach to avoid any such situation.