15000 cops on Delhi streets to ensure safe New Year’s Eve
Ensuring women’s safety and responsible partying by New Year revellers will top the Delhi police’s security agenda on Monday night as over 15,000 personnel man the Capital’s streets, officials in the know said on Sunday.
Those breaking the law or flouting traffic rules will face immediate action, officials warned. Women drivers, rarely subjected to breathalyser tests in the normal course for lack of female officials on night duty, will also be monitored for drunk driving.
“Everyone has the right to enjoy themselves on New Year’s Eve but several women face a hard time with mischief-makers hitting the roads. We are doing our best to increase presence so that women can also feel comfortable while they party with family and friends,” police spokesperson Madhur Verma said.
Last New Year’s Eve, nearly 1,700 people were prosecuted for drink-driving, a sharp rise over the year-before figure of 889.
To restrict movement around Connaught Place and India Gate - the party hub during New Year’s - the police department has tied up with restaurants to issue special parking passes for visitors with reservations.
“We have instructed restaurant owners to issue special parking passes for diners that evening. This will ensure that parking is limited in the area and after 8pm only vehicles having these passes will be allowed around the Outer Circle,” a senior police official said. In Connaught Place and other central Delhi areas, women police officials will patrol markets to ensure there are no incidents of sexual harassment.
Women officials will also be stationed at police pickets to prosecute female drivers with blood alcohol beyond the permissible limit.
Movement of traffic on radial roads along India Gate will be restricted to prevent excessive assembly of people in these areas. Through the evening, the inner and middle circles of Connaught Place will be pedestrianised and no vehicular movement will be allowed.
“We have also requested the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) to restrict entry/exit from certain stations around CP,” Verma said.
Verma said the department had made ample arrangements to check for traffic offences that spike during this day every year. Over 300 traffic pickets will be set up across Delhi - around popular hangout spots, restaurants and bars.
In the New Delhi area alone, 50 checkpoints will be set up. Apart from these, 24 pickets will be set up by traffic police teams. Other areas that will witness heightened security arrangements are Vasant Vihar, Vasant Kunj, Defence Colony, Khan Market, and Rajouri Garden.
Joint commissioner of police (traffic) Alok Kumar said from 8pm onwards traffic will be completely closed towards Connaught Place from Mandi House, Bengali Market, Ranjit Singh flyover, Minto Road-Deen Dayal Upadhyay Marg, Chelmsford Road near the New Delhi railway station, Patel Chowk and Kasturba Gandhi Marg.
“Our officers have special instructions to keep a watch on stunt biking, speeding, rash and dangerous driving,” Kumar said.