Through the past few years, there has been increased participation by women and children in the carnival and the rally, because of steps taken to contain public nuisance and staging of obscenity

The overwhelming outburst of public anger at the death of a young woman in New Delhi following a gang rape, is expected to reflect in the items that will be featured at the Cochin Carnival rally that will be taken out at Fort Kochi on January 1 afternoon.

Nearly two lakh people from within and outside India are expected to pour into Fort Kochi on Tuesday, as the curtains come down on the carnival. Societal issues dominate the themes displayed at the annual rally, alongside the right amount of fun.

Enhanced security

Members of the public, guests and tourism stakeholders in the region are generally happy at the enhanced security measures that are in place in connection with the carnival and the New Year revelry. Through the past few years, there has been increased participation by women and children in the carnival and the rally, because of steps taken to contain public nuisance and staging of obscenity.

“The police have taken steps to prevent untoward incidents and traffic snarls in the locale since around 1.50 lakh people are expected to converge here for this. As part of this, vehicles are already being intercepted at different places en route to Fort Kochi,” said the carnival’s advisor Josey P.J.

The carnival’s organisers have requested the police to clamp down on individuals and clubs that stage objectionable and obscene scenes at the January 1 rally. Apart from regular police personnel, there will be plenty of volunteers, including 200 women, to ensure that the rally passes off peacefully.

“Over the years, the coordination between the organisers and the police has increased. Residents’ associations too have promised all help for the rally’s success. The beach has been well lit, to prevent miscreants from stirring up trouble,” Mr Josey said. The alleged misbehaviour towards a woman foreign national at the beach on New Year eve under the cover of darkness, and the prompt arrest of the culprit had created headlines a few years ago.

The enhanced police presence and surveillance cameras keeping tabs of different streets has become a deterrent to trouble makers, said Christopher Edward Walton, who owns a home stay.

Packed home stays

The dozens of home stays in the tourist hub too are packed with guests. “Most have been fully booked till January 5. Walk-in guests compensate for the cancellations. The Kochi Biennale has further increased the room bookings. But most guests, including Europeans, are getting conscious of the budget,” he said.

Members of the public can pass on information to the police on the numbers 100,1090 or 94979 90070.

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