New Year revellers at a party in a five-star hotel in Kharghar will have to take a drop service home if they indulge in drinking as they bring in the New Year on the night of December 31.
This year, Shashank Narsaria, whose event management company is organising the party, will take extra measures to avert any drink-driving accidents from marring New Year’s Eve parties in the city.
“This year, we are insisting that those who order alcohol must take a valet driver service or a drop,” said Narsaria, who has hired 50 valet drivers and more than 100 tourist cars for the purpose.
“Drink driving is always a menace on the night of December 31, and I want to ensure that our patrons remain safe, particularly since many will be visiting from Pune and Lonavala,” he said.
Several cab and valet service providers are expecting a surge of calls after the midnight parties around the city.
“The number of calls we get for drivers on New Year’s Eve has increased over the years, and we expect more than 500 orders this this time,” said the manager of Party Hard Drivers, a driver-supply service started in 2007 following a series of drink-driving accidents.
“While we have about 250 drivers so far, we will scale the number up by New Year’s eve,” he said.
The city’s traffic police force had started a safety drive from December 20 to check for drink-driving cases. Since then, 150 such cases have been booked on a daily basis.
“There will be more than 70 check points around the city on December 31,” said Mohan Kumar Dahikar, deputy commissioner of police (traffic). “We have also asked taxi associations to deploy taxis around party venues,” he said.
However, there will be fewer taxis on the roads compared to last . “The number of taxis on the roads has gone down to 35,000 from 58,000 taxis available last year, mainly due to the expiration of age limit or maintenance,” said AL Quadros, taxi union leader.
“However, most drivers will be present around hotels and party venues on December 31,” said Quadros.