Bengaluru, Jan 1: Thousands of Bangaloreans heralded New Year early on Thursday, cheering, dancing, hooting, whistling, bursting crackers and greeting each other amid tight security across this tech hub.
Undeterred by the presence of hundreds of police personnel, heightened vigil and CCTV cameras in downtown, about 8,000 people ushered in 2015 by milling around the up-market M.G. Road, fashionable Brigade Road, posh Lavelle Road, serene Cubbon Road and the bustling Commercial Street, which were lit up for the occasion.
Braving wintry chill and overlooking restrictions imposed by police to maintain law and order, young techies, college students, professionals and boys and girls jostled for space to do a jig, dance to rock music or swing to lilting filmy songs.
"The New Year fest has been peaceful though noisy. No untoward incident reported from anywhere in the city. People dispersed orderly after partying without fear from public venues," Additional Police Commissioner Alok Kumar told IANS later.
As a precautionary measure and in view of the Dec 28 minor blast near a restaurant on upscale Church Street in the city centre, police directed all pubs, bars, eateries and hotels to close at 1 a.m. instead of 2 a.m.
"We extended closure timing of pubs, bars, eateries and hotels to 1 am from 11:30 p.m. Wednesday so as to allow people to enjoy the New Year fest. It's a great relief all agreed to abide by the order," Kumar said.
About 3,000 police personnel, including contingents from the city armed constabulary, the rapid action force and the state reserve force were deployed in the central business district to ensure peaceful celebration of the New Year.
Apart from banning parking and vehicular traffic from 8 p.m. till 1 a.m. in downtown, major inter-sections and main thoroughfares, driving on all flyovers across the city were blocked till 6 am to prevent drunken driving and drag racing.