Cash crunch spoils New Year eve revelry in Bengaluru

Bengaluru: Unlike in previous years, the New Year eve revelry here on Saturday night will be subdued, as cash crunch has spoiled the party and not many are in a mood to usher in 2017.

With several IT firms shut down for furloughs and thousands of techies logging out of the city for year-end vacation, many star hotels, clubs and pubs have reported less than 50 per cent bookings for the New Year eve celebrations.

Though the state government and the city police have permitted hotels, restaurants, clubs and bars to remain open till 2 a.m., for serving guests, advance reservations for partying has been much less than in the past years.

“We have scaled down our budget for the New Year’s Eve party, as bookings from our members or other guests have been than last year due to the effect of note ban,” Bowring Institute member in-charge of entertainment S. Rajnikath told IANS.

The 148-year-old colonial club in the city centre has about 6,000 members, with many of them being fifth and sixth generation descendants.

“We have limited the number of guests to 750 for the event from 2,000 last year for two reasons – due to limited space owing to renovation works underway and low-key response to the New Year eve event,” said Rajnikanth.

Other clubs, star hotels and restaurants have also reported lower bookings for tables and lesser orders for drinks and buffet dinners.

Elaborate security arrangements have been made across the city, especially in the central business district areas like M.G. Road, Brigade Road, Lavelle Road, Church Street and KG Road in Majestic junction to prevent any untoward incident.

“Additional personnel have been deployed in many areas where hundreds of people are likely to gather around midnight to usher in the New Year. We have also intensified patrolling and stepped up vigilance for safe and peaceful revelry,” said Additional Commissioner of Police K.S.R. Charan Reddy.

Parking has been banned on main roads in the central business district and vehicular movement restricted from 9 p.m. to 1 a.m. in areas where people in large numbers would be gathering to celebrate the event.

“Vehicles will not be allowed on all flyovers across the city from 10 p.m. till 7 a.m. on Sunday to prevent road mishaps due to drunken or reckless driving by motorists and bikers,” Reddy said.