Puducherry

Chock-a-block in Puducherry on New Year eve

Though Puducherry witnessed a heavy tourist flow on Monday, the crowd on the Beach Promenade was minimal due to barricading of the entire White Town.

Though Puducherry witnessed a heavy tourist flow on Monday, the crowd on the Beach Promenade was minimal due to barricading of the entire White Town.   | Photo Credit: T. Singaravelou

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Though elaborate arrangements were put in place to handle increased tourists arrival, law enforcers fell short of the means to manage the situation

Heavy influx of tourists from neighbouring States and lack of infrastructure in the former French outpost to handle the traffic caused utter chaos in the city, leaving the police at their wits’ end on Monday. Although elaborate arrangements were claimed to have been made, lack of adequate parking lots to accommodate vehicles transporting tourists compounded the situation.

The traffic police barricaded the Law De Lauriston Street and a few other streets in the White Town to ensure smooth flow of traffic.

But the police personnel posted at important junctions in the city could not regulate the flow of traffic, resulting in severe congestion all along the stretch from Mahatma Gandhi Road to Gingee Salai.

Barricades placed in various parts of the city were a major obstruction to senior citizens and tourists walking towards the Beach Promenade. They found it difficult to move through the stretch.

According to a police official, “All tourist vehicles including buses and vans coming from the neighbouring states were directed to be parked at the old distillery and other designated parking spaces in the White Town. Similarly, for vehicles coming from the south side, parking space had been allotted at the old and new port grounds, Indira Gandhi Sports Complex and Petit Seminaire School.” The Tourism department has projected an increase in tourist arrivals to Puducherry for this New Year.

Total occupancy

A majority of the hotels have recorded near total occupancy with rooms booked till January 4, while a few have blocked rooms for their regular corporate clients, an official said.

The rooms had been booked more than 15 days in advance. Popular spots including the Beach Promenade and Matrimandir in Auroville are teeming with tourists.

Lighting and reverberating music at hotels, clubs and resorts, which were decked up with festoons and lit up, provided a festive look.

The debut edition of the Catamaran Beach Festival 2018 on December 30 and 31 at Chinna Veerampattinam beach will feature a curated multi-genre line up of 18 performing artists with the music ranging across adrenaline-driven rock to Carnatic alternative, hip hop, EDM (a variety of afro, tribal, minimalist techno and reggae).

Festivities galore

At The Storytellers Bar in The Promenade Hotel, partying guests were treated to rock hits from 60s, 70s, 80s and 90s presented by city-based Dhani’s Trio and DJ iSean from Auroville. The hotel is also organising a fun ‘Hangover Brunch’ at the Blue Line restaurant on January 1.

The Old Port grounds featured the band Madras Mail and a couple of sets by DJs. The Art and Craft village in Murungapakkam, Seagulls restaurant and PY Cafe also hosted music-driven New Year parties. There were a few options for revellers who preferred to avoid the chaos in the city with popular haunts such as the Ashok Beach Resort which hosted ‘Rock N Rolla 2019’ featuring hip hop and EDM sets steered by DJs Balie, Moon and Yugi, St. James Court Beach Resort and Bonjour Bonheur Ocean Spray hosting New Year parties.

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Printable version | Jan 24, 2020 9:58:23 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/puducherry/chock-a-block-in-puducherry-on-new-year-eve/article25875417.ece

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