Almost every recreational area claims to have surpassed its previous record of visitors

A sea of humanity could be seen at theme parks, entertainment zones, beaches and shopping malls on Monday, with families going on an ‘outing spree' on Kaanum Pongal Day on Monday.

Almost every recreational area claimed to have surpassed its previous record of visitors received, thanks to Kaanum Pongal. The Vandalur Zoo, for instance, saw its highest turnout of 57,200 persons. Last year it was 51,000, according to officials.

The Trade Fair at Island Grounds was swelling with crowd, all the three days with a total of nearly 2.5 lakh persons having visited the place, where games and food are big attractions for children and adults alike. On Monday, over 1.5 lakh people thronged the venue, said organisers.

The Semmozhi Poonga on Cathedral Road and the Anna Centenary Library in Kotturpuram, two new attractions, were also popular. The Poonga saw nearly 17,000 people flock from morning till 6 in the evening. The daily average is around 6,000 visitors. The Library had nearly 3,200 people and officials said that after a point, they had to restrict entry of people.

Numbers would not do justice to the multitude of people that came to the beaches, especially to the Marina. It was a carnival of sorts for those from villages for whom the afternoon sun was no dampener to play and dine on the sands of the beach.

However, a good number of regular vendors at the beach said their business was not like every year. Vendors at ice-cream vans, bajji stalls and ‘photo studios' said people were not spending much and the haphazard placement of many vendors only gave them more competition every passing year.

Almost every visitor to the beach had one complaint that a visit was incomplete, as they could not even wet their feet in the waves. Police personnel stood as a barrier, preventing people from venturing into the sea.

Sisters Venda and Meghalekha, who came from a village near Vellore, came packed with puli saadam and other eatables, played and danced in full spirit. A group of female friends from different faiths and different pockets of the city chilled out on the sands till the sun went down.

The Metropolitan Transport Corporation ran 200 additional bus services from different parts of the city. That at least was not enough for people heading to the beach as buses remained full. But quite a few regular commuters observed that the traffic congestion was rather less.

Keywords: Kaanum Pongal

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Liffy ThomasJune 28, 2012

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