Low key Kaanum Pongal fete in TN, Marina wears deserted look

Chennai: Marina, the world’s second largest beach, wore a deserted look and various tourist spots were made out of bound for public, as the ‘Kaanum Pongal’ (sight seeing), marking the culmination of the four-day Pongal festivities, turned out to be a low key affair in Tamilnadu, today in view of the corona pandemic.

Every year, the Marina beach front would be the most preferred destination as it would resemble a sea of humanity with people from every nook and corner of the Sate, thronging it.

However, in view of the corona pandemic-induced lockdown the State government has banned entry of public in all the beaches across the state to prevent the spread of the virus.

Apart from the beach front, the government has also banned all tourist spots, including the hsitoric Mamallapuram, about 55 km from here, the Arignar Anna Zoological Park at suburban Vandlaur, popularly called as Vandalur Zoo, the Guindy Children’s National Park and other places, in the wake of emergence of the mutant variant of the virus in the UK.

Police have made elaborate security arrangements to prevent people from entering the beach front. Barricades were erected all along the beach stretch and police personnel were deployed in large numbers.

Apart from round the clock patrolling, policemen mounted on horse back also
patrolled the beach front.

Police personnel were also manning the entire stretch of Kamarajar Salai on the Marina beach to prevent people from visiting the Anna, MGR, Jayalalithaa and Karunanidhi memorials.

Though all the tourist spots were banned for public entry, amusement parks like the MZM Dizee World were open and the public enjoyed the rides.

When contacted, sources in MGM Dizee World, located on the ECR, said public were allowed entry by strictly following the SOPs put in place by the government, like wearing face masks, thermal scanning and maintaining social distancing norms. But all the water rides were banned.

“People can enjoy the other rides,” they said, adding, the footfalls this time till noon was comparatively less than last year, in view of the pandemic. “However, we expect it to see more people visiting it as the day progresses,” they said.


NT Bureau