Millions of fire-crackers, ringing of bells, hooting of ships’
sirens and loud cheers by Mumbaikars - from the slums of Dharavi to
the highrises in the posh areas of the city - greeted the New Year
2010 on a dark, slightly chilly eclipse-struck night of Dec 31st
The celebrations had started well in advance with millions of
Mumbaikars hurrying home and then proceeding to parties, outings or
gatherings to celebrate the New Year, beating away the recession
Mumbai Police had deployed over 40,000
personnel in the field to keep an eye on each and every corner of
the city, while there were roadblockades, CCTVs at major junctions
and strict security at mega events in five star hotels, public
grounds and the dozen-odd beach fronts dotting the city.
The traffic police also made special
arrangements to ensure that the night went off without traffic
snarls. There were also special measures to check drunken driving at
most important locations in the city to make the New Year event safe
The additional precautions were necessitated by
the state government’s decision to permit public celebrations in
hotels, restaurants, pubs, clubs and other places to remain
officially open till 3 a.m., attracting more crowds than in previous
years when celebrations stopped at 1 a.m.
The Western Railway and Central Railway
operated special services enabling revellers to move around the city
almost all night till the early hours of Jan 1. Even the city’s
public transport undertaking, the BEST, ran special services on key
routes to enable people to move around freely.
A majority of the hotels, restaurants, pubs and
clubs were booked houseful in advance and people started trooping in
from 7 p.m. onwards.
A few parties were also being held offshore in
boats and yachts off Gateway of India with special arrangements to
serve food and liquor. Many of those vessels would permit the
party-goers to view the first sunrise of the New Year at the morrow
on the calm and cold waters of the Arabian Sea.