Anxiety marks year-end plans

Anxiety marks year-end plans

With a police ban on public assembly and penalties in store for overcrowded restaurants, New Year’s Eve celebrations are wrought with guilt and fear

On December 31 last year, crowds gathered on M G Road to usher in 2020. The year had some deadly surprises in store. The M G Road-Brigade Road area is out of bounds for revellers this year.

The Bengaluru police have put in place elaborate restrictions for December 31, but many rules and guidelines are contradictory.

Some plans are completely new. In one zone, police plan to slow down traffic and photograph the number plates of all motorists before letting them pass.

Citizens are sceptical about how many of these rules police can realistically enforce.

Public assembly is banned, but police are expecting huge crowds on the streets, and installing additional cameras and lighting across the city.

City Police Commissioner Kamal Pant has announced Section 144 from 6 pm on December 31 to 6 am on January 1. That means not more than five people can gather in a place, and public celebrations are out of the question.

He has also directed all restaurants and pubs to go by table bookings, and fill only 50 per cent of their capacity.

Rs 50,000 penalty

“BBMP and city police teams will carry out random checks to check for violations. A fine of Rs 50,000 will be levied on restaurants violating the rules,” Pant told Metrolife. 

M G Road, Brigade Road, Indiranagar and Koramangala are among the areas out of bounds for revellers.

“No-man zones will be created and we will check people for drunk driving and nobody will be allowed to roam around without a definite purpose,” he says.

Airport Road area

Each police division in the city has plans to check revelry in public places.

C K Baba, DCP, North-East division, says all flyovers will be closed.

“About 200 Hoysala vehicles and 30 Cheetahs will be patrolling the zone. Hebbal, Yelahanka and Airport Road will be monitored closely,” says
Baba. Dr Sanjeev M Patil, DCP, West, says traffic will be slowed, and the number plates of all motorists will be photographed before they are allowed to pass. There will be barricades placed at 52 points.

“We will put up zig-zag barricades on the main road. Dark areas will be lit up----otherwise they become perfect havens for drug addicts. Unclaimed vehicles and empty BMTC buses parked on the roadside and abandoned buildings will be monitored for suspicious activities,” he says.

Harish Pandey, DCP, South division, has started a drive to sensitise people about the restrictions on
December 31.  “We have already started checking if the CCTV cameras in restaurants and pubs are working, and streetlights are repaired,” says Pandey. The zone will have eight islands for women’s safety. “This will be manned by men and women police officers,” he says.

Travelling?

People going to the airport, railway stations and bus terminals will not face any restrictions, police say. 

Restrictions

Cops will keep an eye out for rash driving, wheelies.

Public assembly and celebrations are banned.

Flyovers and prominent roads will be barricaded.

Dine out only if you have table booking, say cops.

BBMP, police to check restaurants for overcrowding.

No extra buses for revellers, says BMTC

C Shikha, managing director, Bangalore Metropolitan Transport Corporation, says no additional buses will be pressed into service on December 31. “We will park buses near police stations and bus depots to ensure safety. We will decide on how many buses will ply on New Year’s Eve on the basis of government guidelines,” she says.

DJs still largely jobless

The city’s DJs have had a tough year, with no work and very little money coming in.
DJ Clitus has chosen not to do public shows for at least a month or two more, given the risks. “We don’t know how many people are affected,” he says. Venues that do book shows are not paying well, and copyright restrictions are coming in the way of social media shows, he says. “I did some online events. It was going well but no money was coming in,” says Clitus.
Video DJ Harry, playing this week at two pubs, says, “There’s a lot of uncertainty in the air, both in terms of payments and the events.” He says the ticket rates at the party venues are low this time. “Last year, for Rs 3,000 you would get a good New Year’s Eve package. Now, the entry fee is as low as Rs 500 and Rs 250. There’s not much by way of profit there, and also, DJs are getting paid less than half their usual rates,” he says.