Unlike on 25 December when the huge gathering at Park Street raised eye-brows in several quarters particularly health experts, who read ominous signals amid rising graph of Covid-19 and increasing threat of surge of omicron variant, Kolkata police are gearing up to keep revelers under a tight leash on New Year’s Eve.
As a measure to de-crowding the entire stretch of Park Street, officers of the traffic department of city police were learnt to have decided to allow plying of vehicles along the Park Street- Mallick Bazar stretch, which was a walking-only street on the 25th making vehicles out of bounds from the zone. “This move was being contemplated to split the crowd thus to avert huge congregation that likely to threaten public health,” opined an officer. Moreover, random announcement on the public address system alerting the revellers to maintain Covid protocol and wear mask had been started. An elaborate security arrangement had been put in place.
A huge police contingent, approximately over 3,000 police personnel would be on the street tomorrow and about 3, 500 personnel would be on duty the day after tomorrow, the 1st January. “Besides, 15 police assistance booths had been set up to be run by women police officers to look into complaints. Watch- towers to maintain vigil as were used on the 25th would be in operation”, said Subhankar Sinha Sarkar, Jt CP ( Headquarters).
Meanwhile, Lalbazar too was keeping its eyes on the southern part of the city as a precaution as well, as these areas had become veritable revellers’ hub in past few years. Sources at Lalbazar said police personnel from local police stations on bike would be patrolling the stretch to keep tab on pubs and restaurants in order to keep a vigil on harassment, eve-teasing and other forms of public nuisance. Special stress would be on drunken driving and police would subject drivers to breathalyzer tests.