After Team India’s historic win in the ICC Cricket World Cup at Wankhede Stadium on Saturday night, thousands of fans spilled onto the streets. Many of them were driving after drinking. But call it their good luck, none of them were booked. The reason: there were no police teams deputed in the city as part of anti-drink driving campaign.
“We were too busy with the security arrangements for the match,” a traffic police officer said on condition of anonymity, adding that everything went fine and no major accident was reported throughout the city from Saturday night till Sunday morning.
Deputy commissioner of police (DCP), traffic, Nandkumar Chaughule, said the World Cup traffic arrangement was their priority. “All branches of the Mumbai police were pressed into security duty at Wankhede. Police personnel from outside the city were also called in for assistance,” Chaughule added.
Normally, there is a heavy traffic police presence on the streets of Mumbai whenever celebrations are anticipated. The traffic police arm themselves with breath analysers and spread all over the city to keep a tab on drunken drivers.
At least 860 cases of drunk driving were registered on the New Year’s eve, and 858 people were booked for the same offence on Holi. But drunk drivers, rejoicing India’s World Cup victory after a gap of 28 years, had a smooth ride on Saturday night.
Pravin Babbar, director of Tathastu Home Services at Four Bungalows in Andheri (West), which provides drivers to party hoppers, said his office had received bookings from 35 persons. “On New Year’s eve, we had 185 orders for personalised drivers,” he said.