A Kaanum Pongal sans incident

Tight security arrangements pay off; MTC, Railways do their bit to ferry holiday crowd

Updated - January 18, 2019 07:29 am IST

Published - January 18, 2019 01:52 am IST - CHENNAI

The Marina beach swelled with the holiday crowd on Thursday.

The Marina beach swelled with the holiday crowd on Thursday.

Elaborate security arrangements made by the Chennai City Police helped thousands of visitors who made a beeline for the Marina beach celebrate Kaanum Pongal without any major incident on Thursday.

The security arrangements consisting of watchtowers, installation of temporary barricades, deployment of drones and a heavy posse of policemen on the beach helped.

The Marina beach swelled with the holiday crowd as the day progressed. Every year, the major problem faced by the police is children getting lost in the crowd. For the past few years, the police have taken to putting bands on their arms with details of their parents and mobile number and this has helped in tracing the parents immediately.

Tech to rescue

On Thursday, 15 children were reportedly lost but were traced within minutes. There were no complaints of jewellery theft, police said. R. Amudhavalli, a mother of two small children, thanked the City Police for making good security arrangements for the visitors to enjoy their time at the beach. The police went hi-tech by employing drones and closed circuit television (CCTV) cameras. The CCTV cameras and drones were linked to 5 LED screens installed along the beach beaming a live feed.

Volunteers helped the traffic personnel ease congestion on Kamarajar Salai. Fishermen prevented people from drowning. A helicopter from the Coast Guard also kept watch on merrymakers. Other venues like the Chennai Trade Fair at Island Grounds and the two beaches at Besant Nagar and Thiruvanmiyur also attracted large crowds.

The Arignar Anna Zoo at Vandalur received more than 43,000 visitors this year against 37,880 visitors last year. The Children’s Park at Guindy was also a big draw, with nearly 15,000 people visiting it.

On the transportation front, the operation of special buses in addition to the regular buses by the Metropolitan Transport Corporation (MTC) and Southern Railway operating suburban trains as per its regular schedule helped people travel in comfort.

A senior official of MTC said out of the full fleet strength of 3,400 buses, almost all buses were put on the road, leading to less congestion.

Also the MTC was able to earn more than Rs.50 lakh on Thursday alone.

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