Delhiites throng malls, restaurants to welcome 2017

New Delhi:Notwithstanding chilly weather in the national capital, hundreds of revellers, soaked in festive spirit, thronged markets, restaurants, malls and multiplexes today to usher in the New Year, even as police maintained a watchful eye to avert any untoward incident.

Several public places were decked up with lighting and balloons as people gathered to bid adieu to 2016 and welcome 2017.

Malls and multiplexes, from Connaught Place to Saket City Walk, teemed with revellers, despite the mercury settling at 10.5 degrees Celsius.

Other famous market places and party hotspots like Nehru Place, Khan Market, Rajouri Garden, also witnessed people arriving by droves, as these places were illuminated thus adding to the spirit of celebrations, which will reach the crescendo at the stroke of the midnight hour.

In order to ensure hassle-free experience on roads, traffic police has made elaborate arrangements on various routes across the city with special focus on areas in the vicinity of Connaught Place.

Traffic officials would be present till the wee hours to check any flouting of rules during the year-end revelries.

Among several restrictions imposed in the heart of Delhi, no vehicle will be allowed to proceed towards Connaught Place beyond certain points including Mandi House, Bengali Market, DDU Marg crossing, GPO and Patel Chowk, an official said.

These restrictions imposed from 8 PM onwards will be in effect till the conclusion of New Year celebrations. All private and public transport vehicles come under the ambit of this plan, as per the traffic advisory.

In addition to this, no vehicle is allowed in Inner, Middle or Outer circle of Connaught Place. For the convenience of motorists, a few areas have been marked to park vehicles near this plush market, which sees a good number of crowd every year on the occasion.

The entire central Delhi is under heightened security especially to put a check on stunt bikers and drunken driving, a senior police official said.

In co-ordination with local police and PCR, special pickets have been posted to stop stunt bikers, over-speeding and drunken driving at accident-prone locations.

Strict vigil was also maintained at other party hotspots of the city like M-Block Market of Greater Kailash, Chirag Delhi, New Friends Colony, Defence Colony, South Extension, Mehrauli, Aya Nagar Border, Khanpur, Nehru Place near Eros Hotel and Vasant Vihar.