CHENNAI: Thousands thronged the beaches dotting the city’s coastline on Saturday for Kaanum Pongal with a strict vigil kept by the city police. Barricades were put up to prevent entry into the waters.
A hovercraft and a chopper were also spotted off the coast at the Marina.
Some people resorted to bathing at the mouth of the Cooum river. Crowds at Marina and Elliots were also comparatively lesser than last year, police said. The crowd which started pouring in at around 12.30 pm had swelled after 3.30 pm.
According to the police, 10 missing children were located and returned to their parents on Saturday at the beach. Other measures taken included setting up a temporary booth near Labor Statue and seven watch-towers along the beach, with each manned by three cops with walkie-talkies.
Many people also visited the MGR Samadhi on the occasion of MGR’s birth anniversary.
A special team of surfers belonging to the marine police were also patrolling the beach apart from cops mounted on horses. Movement of a senior police official’s vehicle almost created a smooth pathway on the shoreline, remarked an eyewitness.
Like other days, the entry into the Lighthouse was open till 6 pm and there was a heavy rush.
The City Police also displayed a sand art at the Elliot’s beach as part of the 26th Traffic Awareness Week.