Mumbai tragedy casts shadow on New Year festivities

Mumbai tragedy casts shadow on New Year festivities

Mumbai tragedy casts shadow on New Year festivities

After nearly a decade, Mumbai had a rather subdued New Year celebration in the wake of the Kamala Mills compound fire tragedy and the resultant crackdown on illegal constructions and extensions in eateries, restaurants and pubs.

In the aftermath of the 26/11 terror attacks in  the city in 2008, the celebrations were curtailed down drastically as people voluntarily chose not to have  indulge in  revelry in view of the militant strike.

This year, the New Year festivities coincided with the  weekend but several events were cancelled or curtailed in the Mumbai Metropolitan Region in view  of the tragedy.

Besides, the Mumbai police strictly enforced  a check against drunken driving since afternoon and the excise department carried out raids.

The BrihanMumbai Municipal Corporation's (BMC) demolition drive against illegal restaurants, illegal alterations and extensions in eateries and restaurants continued in full force.

Hotels, bars and the firecrackers industry suffered badly. "The sales were down by 40%," said Minesh Mehta, secretary of the Mumbai and Thane district fireworks dealers' welfare Association.

"There have been last-minute cancellations of orders from hotels and resorts across the resorts in the MMR," he added.

According to Jayesh Bangera, who runs three hotels in Mumbai, patrons have reduced drastically.

"In hotels and bars, depending on the locality and popularity, the entry fee is in the range of Rs 500 to Rs 10,000. This time around, entry was free in most of the places," he said.  

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