Madurai

Police patrol: It was pandemonium outside cinema halls

Vehicles parked in a haphazard manner near a cinema house on New Natham Road in Madurai. Photo: G. Moorthy

Vehicles parked in a haphazard manner near a cinema house on New Natham Road in Madurai. Photo: G. Moorthy   | Photo Credit: G_Moorthy

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Police should have anticipated huge crowds and posted adequate number of personnel to regulate traffic near cinema halls, writes L. Srikrishna

Huge crowds thronged cinema halls where Rajnikanth-starrer Lingaa was released recently. A large number of movie-goers left their vehicles in a haphazard manner after buying tickets and caused inconvenience to other road users.

On Friday evening, there was utter chaos on cinema houses on New Natham Road, Kuruvikaran Salai and Arapalayam. Police should have anticipated huge crowds and posted adequate number of personnel to regulate traffic near the cinema halls. But in the absence of it, there was traffic congestion on these roads. Even at an odd hour, Rajnikanth fans blocked New Natham Road for cutting a cake to celebrate the birthday of the star and asked the public to take alternative routes.

The situation got worse on Saturday noon when many movie-goers parked their cars on both sides of the road, leaving very little carriage space for other road users. An ‘108’ emergency service vehicle coming from Natham got stuck in the celebration melee amid bursting of crackers in front of the cinema hall. It had to negotiate the frenzied crowd with great difficulty and emerged out of it to race towards Government Rajaji Hospital.

The scene was even worse off Kuruvikaran Salai where the road was choked on both directions after fans had gone to watch the movie after parking their motorcycles in a zigzag manner.

When contacted, an employee of the movie threatre on New Natham Road said out of the 900 seats, they had sold only 400 tickets for the noon show on the second day of the release of the movie. He pleaded ignorance about the haphazard parking.

When The Hindu contacted the traffic police, the officers said they did deploy their personnel near the cinema halls to regulate vehicle parking.

Though Collector L. Subramanian has stated in a press release that the ticket fare should be displayed, the cinema halls did not follow his instruction. At many cinema houses neither the public objected to the fancy price nor the theatre managers had any knowledge of government-approved rates.

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Printable version | Jan 27, 2020 10:16:36 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Madurai/police-patrol-it-was-pandemonium-outside-cinema-halls/article6692767.ece

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