As Chennai prepares for a heavy influx of people visiting popular tourist spots owing to Kaanum Pongal, the Chennai police are busy putting elaborate security arrangements in place.
According to news reports, around 15,000 policemen will be deployed across the city in beaches and zoos and drones will also be deployed to monitor the crowd in the beach. Temporary police control centres have been set up near Gandhi statue, Kannagi statue and near MGR memorial to help those in need.
Last year around 1.5 lakh people visited Marina and 30,000 people visited Besant Nagar beach for Kaanum Pongal, said reports. Like last year, this year’s security measures will also include an identification tag which will be tied around children’s wrists. These tags will have the name and phone number of one of the parents of the kid. Last year, around 20 children were identified and rescued because of the ID tags. Police have also planned to use the public address system to issue instructions to people on the beaches.
The police have also set up watch towers at Marina and Elliot’s beaches in Besant Nagar. Neelankarai and Thiruvanmiyur beaches will also have similar security arrangements. Policemen with binoculars will man those towers and keep a watch on the people thronging the beaches. Police have also reportedly roped in around 100 fishermen to prevent incidents of drowning.
A detailed traffic plan has also been put in place to prevent traffic snarls in the city’s important places. When parking on the beach road becomes full, vehicles will be diverted at War Memorial to Anna Salai, GP Road, Royapettah and RK Salai. Vehicles coming from Adyar will also undertake a diversion near Kannagi Statue and move towards Bharati Road, Bells Toad and Wallajah Road. The stretch of beach road between Bharati road to Kannagi statue will also be made one-way.