Thousands throng Marina for Kaanum Pongal

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Chennai, Jan 17 (UNI) It was a sea of humanity at the world's second longest coastline as thousands of people turned up as part of ''Kaanum Pongal'' (sight seeing), marking the end of four-day Pongal festivities in Tamil Nadu on the Marina beach.

Police have made elaborate security arrangements in view of the huge rush of people and have banned swimming in sea. Barricades have also been put up to prevent people from entering the sea for bathing.

More than 5,000 police personnel, including police mounted on horse-back and patrol teams were deployed on security duty in all tourist spots and important business centres across the city.

The police teams maintained vigil all along the coastline, starting from north Chennai to the East Coast Road where theme parks, a multiplex and the Crocodile Bank were situated.

Policemen in plain clothes were deployed in all crowded places in the city, including railway stations and bus depots.

Apart from the beach, people thronged all tourist spots, amusement parks, Arignar Anna Zoological Park at suburban Vandalur, Guindy National Park, cinema halls and the All India Industrial and Tourist Trade Fair at Island grounds.

The Metropolitan Transport Corporation organised special buses to various destinations and the Southern Railways announced special trains on the Chennai Beach-Chengalpattu, Chennai Beach-Arakkonam EMU section and on the elevated MRTS section.

UNI GV KVV SP RN1657

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