Mumbai, Jan 1 Party animals hit the most famous party spots right before midnight to bid farewell to the old year and ringed in the new year in style as others enjoyed last day of the year at their homes, watching television, and munching midnight snacks.
To ensure safe new year celebrations, the Mumbai police made tight security arrangements across the city. Special attention was paid to prevent eve-teasing and drunk driving accident.
According to police officials, over 25,000 policemen were on the streets maintaining strict vigil on new year’s eve. Their presence was more visible at the localities that are infamous for eve-teasing.
Gateway of India is one such location where most eve-teasing incidents have taken place over the last few years during the new year celebrations.
Policemen in plain clothes kept a close watch at sensitive spots like Gateway of India, and seafronts like Juhu, Girgaum Chowpaty, Marine Lines, Haji Ali and Dadar.
CCTV cameras were also installed to capture the movement of the crowd.
However, the party spirit of Mumbaikars did not deter in spite of the strict police vigil as they bee-lined for the multiple parties and events all across the city, specially planned for the night to mark the occasion.
“I have planned to party to the fullest this new year eve and nothing can keep me at home,” said Asha Patel, from suburban Bandra.
“I have planned to bring in the new year at the Gateway of India with a gang of pals and then go to a nearby disco and party till dawn,” he added.
This year, though, the hoteliers were happy to rake in more moolah as the home department issued a circular that they could keep the restaurants open till 5 a.m., instead of the earlier deadline of 1:30 am.
Orchestra bars were, however, to switch off music and loudspeakers post 1.30 a.m.
Many have also planned to spend a quieter evening this year end. “Madding crowd at most public places, never ending queues at restaurants and past incidents of molestation at public places are strong deterrents,” said Vikram Shah, a resident of suburban Andheri.
Saumil Sawant, a father to two teenage girls, however, is glad that there is an increasing trend for housing societies to organise new year’s eve parties right at their doorsteps.
“Being a father of two teenaged daughters, it always scared me to send them away to some resort or disco,” he said.
“This year they both agreed to go to a party at our housing complex. Thanks to the organisers for making it as good as the ones at a resort,” a glad Sawant added.