Wednesday, February 1

Cops replicate Durga Puja model on Park Street

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Taking a clue from the efficient crowd management during Durga Puja, the police have decided to implement the same strategy for Park Street’s signature event that starts on Christmas Eve and stretches to New Year. For regular visitors, thus, the year end festivities which give Park Street its unique character felt more like pandal-hopping.

Even as the cops turned Park Street pedestrian friendly, demarcating more area for revellers to walk about and allowing entry of pedestrians from both flanks of the road, they also executed another instruction — no one was allowed to linger and block the eatery entrances.

“You almost felt like you were in a Puja pandal, minus the pushing and jabbing. You entered, you saw the decoration, found your moments to take a selfie and walked out. It was a new experience since we entered through the Asiatic Society end, but were hardly allowed to cross over to the Flury’s side,” said Shewta Pandey, a resident of New Alipore.

The success that the cops achieved at Park Street during Christmas — cops claimed both December 24 and December 25 went incident-free — has prompted them to use the same strategy in the run-up to the New Year.

“We had a definite plan and we are happy it worked. We will be keeping this experience in mind when we plan for New Year’s Eve and New Year,” said a senior official at Lalbazar.

The traffic-flow plan, however, is likely to be tweaked. “Given the amount of pressure on EM Bypass as people are travelling to Eco Park, Nicco Park and Science City, we are redrawing our morning plans,” claimed a police source.

Snarls were reported on Maa flyover and seven-point crossing even on Wednesday as revellers and office-goers jostled for space. “We will be stressing on smooth pedestrian flow around Alipore zoo, Victoria Memorial, Park Circus, Exide crossing and Science City. Jaywalking has to be stopped. All traffic guards have been instructed accordingly,” said an IPS officer.

“We’ve chalked out a detailed plan for this period. Depending on ground situation, traffic has to be restricted or diverted on several roads leading to Park Street. We don’t plan to put too much pressure on JL Nehru Road. Vehicles headed towards Behala, Alipore and New Alipore will likely to be told to use Red Road and Mayo Road from Esplanade and Dalhousie. We also have set up checkpoints at Dharamtala, Sealdah, Howrah and other entry points to the city,” the officer said.

Special arrangements have also been made for spots like Victoria Memorial, zoo and amusement parks, as well as malls and Metro stations, he said. “Besides, 13 Quick Response Teams and 14 Heavy Radio Flying Squad vans will be stationed at crucial corners in the city,” the officer added.

Cops have also issued mandatory rules for night clubs, bars, hotels and restaurants, especially those outside the Park Street zone.

Source: Times of India

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