The city geared up to welcome 2020 through gala enjoyment and merrymaking, with thousands of people visiting the important tourist destinations across Kolkata on the eve of New Year. A huge number of revellers stayed till late night at Park Street, which was decked up beautifully adding to the festive fervour the entire city has slipped into.
People came out of their homes with their families to enjoy the day and celebrate the last day of 2019 and almost all the tourist spots in the city recorded a huge footfall.
Elaborate police arrangements were made to allow the revellers to enjoy the day uninterrupted. Additional state-run buses and vessels were deployed to take city-dwellers to their favourite spots. Long queues were found outside the top restaurants in the city as well.
Eco Park in New Town turned into a sea of people on Tuesday. The park that stands on over 400 acres of land surrounded by 105 acres of waterbody, is one of the biggest urban parks in Eastern India.
Special arrangements were made including additional ticket counters, so that the visitors could enjoy the day. Replicas of the Eiffel Tower and the Seven Wonders of the world, along with the toy train, were star attractions. Additional buses were deployed to carry the visitors back home.
People from across the state thronged Victoria Memorial Hall and Alipore Zoo as well. Large crowds were seen outside the cages of tiger and lion and in front of the enclosure of chimpanzee at the zoo.
Many people enjoyed boat rides on river Hooghly, while several held picnics at spots like Phuleshwar, Kolaghat and others along the river. Bandel Church and the Danish Tavern at Serampore also attracted large crowds. Many children along with their family members visited Nicco Park and enjoyed various rides there.
Kolkata and Bidhannagar Police have made elaborate security arrangements for New Year’s Eve. Special focus was given to Park Street, Victoria Memorial, Alipore Zoo, Eco Park and the various shopping malls. According to police, the night clubs, bars and hotels have been kept under strict vigil. Various bar owners have deployed women bouncers and app cab kiosks have been set up outside the pubs. The pub-owners announced that they would only allow the entry of people who have a proper identity card with them.
Police personnel in uniform and plain clothes were deployed at the shopping malls and Metro stations, while special attention has been given to major arterial roads and VIP Road for smooth movement of traffic. Special mobile police vans and ambulances will be deployed on all the important thoroughfares. Traffic movement, meanwhile, was restricted at several spots from 4 pm on December 31, including Park Street.
Approximately 5,000 police personnel have been deputed in the city to avoid any untoward incident. Apart from this, 13 Quick Response Teams (QRTs) and 14 Heavy Radio Flying Squad (HRFS) vans were deployed at strategic points as well. Two QRTs with women Combat Force personnel were also stationed in and around Park Street. Metro services were also extended for the night of December 31. Last service from both Dum Dum and Kavi Subhash began at 10.45 pm instead of 9.55 pm on other weekdays.