Bengaluru's Times Square and the traditional connect

Even as Bengaluru sees a growing number of pubs in various locations around the city, Brigade Road seems to be the chosen hub for revellers. Each year, the footfall here, only seems to be

Published: 02nd January 2018 02:37 AM  |   Last Updated: 02nd January 2018 10:15 AM   |  A+A-

A man stops to take a selfie while on his bike near MG Road in Bengaluru on Sunday; (left) City Police Commissioner T Suneel Kumar oversees security | S Manjunath

By Express News Service

BENGALURU: Even as Bengaluru sees a growing number of pubs in various locations around the city, Brigade Road seems to be the chosen hub for revellers. Each year, the footfall here, only seems to be hitting a new high. Brand strategy expert, Harish Bijoor believes that it is the history of the place that continues to draw people there in such huge numbers and that the molestation incidents from 2017 have not affected the place.

Experts said that what began near Cantonment area, has been known for over decades to be the party hub of the city. “Just like Bengaluru has a Central Business District (CBD), it also has a Central Party District and that is M G Road, Brigade Road and Church Street areas. It is Bengaluru’s Times Square,” he said.
Bijoor said that with the area being identified to be the party hub since time immemorial, people continue to flock the place even as connectivity has improved to alternate locations such as Indiranagar and Koramangala. 

Bhooshan, Director, Placements of Acharya Group of Institutes, also believes the same. He attributed the phenomenon to a tradition that began in 1985. At that time, he said, the only ‘rosy area’ in the city was Brigade Road. “The youngsters would walk from different corners of the city to Brigade Road, where they would wish each other and share thoughts,” he said.

However, Bhooshan said people who flock to the CBD now, do not do so for any particular reason. “It is more of a reality by agreement. An old tradition has been converted to a different thought process. Though there are other areas where they can go to, the thinking is ‘I’m going because you are going,” he said.The huge crowds that flock to MG Road and Brigade Road comprise mostly of people who have heard stories from others about the parties from others, opined Gerry Balan, the manager of Pecos pub, one of the popular pubs.

“The young crowd that we see on these roads today, come because they have been told that December 31 is synonymous with MG Road and Brigade Road,” he said. However, old timers who have been in the city for decades tend to stay away, he said.“The crowd is mostly tourists, new people who have moved into the city. They have been told that these two roads as the hotspots of Bengaluru.” Speaking about Sunday’s crowd, Balan said that this year, the hype and the severe police arrangements made to prevent incidents served to pique the curiosity of the youngsters who flocked to MG Road and Brigade Road out of curiosity. “I met several youngsters who had come to prove a point. They wanted to show that people could party safely on MG Road without being afraid,” he said.

Minister pats  the police 
Home Minister Ramalinga Reddy praised the police personnel for the way they handled the New Year’s Eve celebrations in the city, which passed off without any major untoward incidents. “Police did a commendable job on New Year’s Eve as over 1 lakh people had converged to celebrate the night at happening places. Police had to act tough against some who tried to misbehave due to over consumption of alcohol,” Reddy said. The minister also had a word of caution for revellers. “Those who want to celebrate should also show some responsibility. The police even made arrangements for taking inebriated women safely to their residence,” Reddy said.  Police have taken appropriate action against revellers who crossed the limits, however no cases have been booked, he said.

Cops book 1K drunk driving cases 
The number of drunk driving cases registered by Bengaluru Traffic Police on Sunday night doubled as compared to the same day last year, according to Bengaluru Traffic Police. R Hithendra, Additional Commissioner of Police (Traffic), said while 600 cases had been filed last year, this year police filed 1,367 cases. “Earlier, traffic police used to be lax on New Years’ Eve and would allow drunk drivers to go without penalties in many cases. This year, we decided to implement the rules in a stern manner due to which we see an increase in the number of cases,” he added.

Bus commuters greeted with roses
Bengaluru: Commuters travelling in Vajra buses of the Bangalore Metropolitan Transport Corporation (BMTC) were pleasantly surprised on Monday as they were greeted for New Year and given red roses by the drivers and conductors. This was aimed at spreading the word about reduction in the bus fares. “Every passenger was greeted with a rose. This is my daily route and I was so happy to see the staff behaving so politely. The reduction in fares is a great move as it makes commuting more affordable,” said Arpita K, who commutes from Whitefield to Richmond Road daily. BMTC chairman M Nagaraju told Express that the corporation was looking to educate all their passengers about the new fare structure. 

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