With stringent restrictions placed by the district administration due to COVID-19 and no special permissions given to the hotels to organize parties on the New Year’s, the peace-loving people of Vizag welcomed the New Year in homes on a low-key affair, but with a lot of hope. Many apartment associations organized parties with a minimum crowd, while people from many individual and group houses invited families, friends, and organized cake cuttings and fun programs on their terraces.
Rama Krishna Beach Road, usually flocked by thousands of people on New Year’s eve, wore a deserted look due to police restrictions. A large number of police were deployed along the coastal stretch right from Naval Coastal Battery to (NCB) to Rushikonda and BRTS Roads, to curb racing and over-speeding by youth. Patrolling vehicles were deployed at many areas which conducted surveillance to prevent gathering at public places. In a few areas, police made announcements urging people not to gather in the wake of COVID-19. By 11 p.m., most of the roads were empty, probably for the first time in the city.
Early Friday morning, a large number of people flocked to temples, especially at Sai Baba Temple in East Point Colony, Sampath Vinayak Temple in Assilmetta. College going students thronged restaurants, bakeries, and coffee shops to meet their friends. For many eateries, it was a day of good business with special offerings on the first day of the year. In order to meet the demand for cakes, several shops arranged exclusive stalls to sell cakes since Thursday evening. There was also a huge demand for flowers at stalls arranged on the roadside at Siripuram Junction.
Not a single motor vehicle enforcement case was reported in the city during the New Year revelry, as most people remained indoors in the city. Police officials said that public cooperation towards their appeal to celebrate New Year in houses was extremely good. Speaking to Hello Vizag, Additional Deputy Commissioner of Police (Traffic) Ch. Adinarayana said, this was much needed during this COVID-19 period and it was possible due to cooperation from the public. The ADCP said that Police Commissioner Manish Kumar Sinha led the enforcement at Beach Road till late at night.
On Friday evening, a large number of people thronged Beach Road. Severe traffic congestions were reported. Similarly, other tourist spots, including Kailasagiri, Indira Gandhi Zoological Park (IGZP), Rushikonda Beach, and a few others also received good crowds.
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