CHENNAI: It’s not just free passes to flamboyant New Year’s Eve parties that are much in demand. Getting a call taxi booked on December 31 is just as tough, according to taxi operators. With hotels and clubs organising multiple parties within the same property, Chennai’s party-crazy populace are spoilt for choice, despite the police’s 1 am curfew announcement.
NTL and newer cab companies like Ola and Taxi4Sure have reported increases in the booking and caller volume for NYE, though they still said that they were open to taking orders for short drops. “We have had a lot of bookings for 6 and 8 hour packages tomorrow night, but there are still a number of cabs reserved for immediate trips tomorrow,” said a representative of NTL cabs. Excesses aren’t quite enjoyable if you’re hauled up while driving under the influence of alcohol, which is why a large number of party hoppers have smartly opted to book a cab for the entire night, instead of driving themselves. Vishal Kumar, who says that he has at least four parties to attend, opted for a 12-hour cab package to ferry him from one watering hole to the next. Meanwhile, expecting patrons to be a little too tipsy to drive, hotels themselves have asked taxi operators to have cabs on standby to lend a hand when they run out of available cabs.
The police have been keeping a watchful eye over all the preparation, as the clock keeps counting down to 2015. “Vehicle checks will be doubled and inebriated riders will be prevented from riding beyond the check points. Besides, top cops have had a series of discussions with representatives from Star Hotels and Resorts and laid out the guidelines as to how to go about the celebrations in which the revelry will not be permitted beyond 1 am,” said a senior official.
Two additional commissioners, four joint commissioners, and 12 deputy commissioners will be on the field on the eve of New Year celebrations. They would have about 18,000 police personnel at their disposal to carry out the security arrangements. Marina Beach, where a majority of the crowd would usher-in the New Year, will have the largest police cover.
Swamped with road accident calls and drunken brawls, 108 teams will also be ready and alert to take them to waiting Emergency Rooms in Government Hospitals. “There are 34 ambulances at vantage locations across the city. 15 mobile medical team along with City Police - Traffic. These teams will have an EMT and a student volunteer. These teams will carry jump-kit with equipment, medicines and consumables.These teams will provide immediate medical relief to the affected and call for ambulances based on the injury. A police personnel at our 108 Emergency Response centre will handle wireless for effective collaboration,” explained an official with the ambulance service.