CHENNAI: The city police has planned to mobilise about 18,000 personnel to make this Pongal a safe one.
The security arrangements have been planned with special emphasis on Kanum Pongal, the day when a large number of people gather at the beaches, to ensure that there is no drowning unlike last year. “We have made elaborate arrangements for safety and security of the people who come to public places including the Marina and Elliots beaches for Kanum Pongal,” said a senior police official.
“Last year, there were over 75,000 visitors to the Marina. This time, we are expecting it to touch the 1 lakh mark. Similarly, Elliots beach saw a turnout of 15,000 people last year, which is expected to rise to over 25,000 this year during Kaanum Pongal,” he added. Besides, police officials are also prepared for a drowning free Maattu Pongal which falls on Friday. The crowd will swell from noon and it will reach its crescendo by sunset on Friday.
“The entire city police will be on the streets, with the armed reserve complementing them. About 1,000 cops will be guarding the beaches. Five additional commissioners, 7 joint commissioners, and 21 deputy commissioners, will be on bandobust duty. We will erect watch towers and barricades in the beach to mount surveillance on the crowd. Mounted police force and beach buggies will also be pressed into service to deter people from venturing into the waters,” the official said.
“We will also set up temporary outposts in the beaches to trace missing children. Public address systems at every 500 metres would make continuous announcements to locate children lost in the crowds,” he said.
Elevated mobile platforms with high mast lamps would be set up in the beaches to help monitor the crowd besides lighting up the sea front.
Temporary bamboo barricades would be put up to deter those visiting the beaches from entering into the shoreline along the 4.5 km stretch between Anna Square and Srinivasapuram.