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Friday, January 1, 2016

Welcoming New Year 2016 ~ were you out celebrating ?!?

2016 is born ! ~ people celebrated – being closer to Marina beach, could hear noises in the midnight.  Every year, in Chennai, [perhaps the same story in many other Cities in India] there is the ungainly sight of New year revellers partying and spoiling the day.  This becomes the time when Police, Paramedics are kept on toes as cops struggled to keep the inebriated under bay.  This is nothing new and recurs year after year: while rich party in hotels and other places – at  Mount Road Buhari Hotel, Beach Road , Elliots beach, ECR – [the list keeps expanding] – mobs gather and as the clock strikes, the drunken mobs revel  causing inconvenience to everybody and themselves.  As youngsters drive mad, some accidents get reported and Emergency services and Police are kept on their toes..  why this kolaveri ? – what sort of pleasure is this ??   ..  ..  On  Jan 1, 2016 morning, as I walked on the beach road, I hoped that ‘all was well’ the previous night and that no youth left their parent grieving !  Was that the year before last  ? – when five fatal accidents and 22 non-fatal ones were reported from across the city. 

Some of these are legacies of  British rule.  This year, Britain  welcomed New Year as thousands of people gathered on the banks of the River Thames to watch a spectacular fireworks display. London revellers were watched over by every available officer at the Metropolitan Police's disposal, including hundreds of firearms personnel. MailOnline reported that as  many as 3,000 officers have been working across the capital, as cities across the world heighten security in the wake of the Paris terror attacks. The UK revelers s braved the intermittent spells of rain last night ahead of the stunning midnight display featuring around 12,000 fireworks. 

Earlier, other global cities beckoned in the New Year, including Dubai, where celebrations were tempered by a blaze in one of its tallest buildings.  The Address Downtown, one of the most upscale hotels in the city, started at around 9.30pm Dubai time just 500 yards from where the fireworks were due to begin ~ and there was a fire accident.  The  five-star hotel engulfed by flames just before the New Years' firework display was still smouldering in the  morning, as reports suggest the inferno was triggered by curtains catching fire. Firefighters managed to subdue the inferno, but part of the luxury building is still smoking and a fire is still visible on the 20th floor, where the blaze apparently started. Medics said at least 60 people were injured and one person suffered a heart attack from the smoke and overcrowding.

Back in Britain, it was a night of wild celebrations and drunken mayhem as New Year revellers welcomed 2016 by hugging police cars, rolling around in the street and, in some cases, losing their trousers. Millions of party-goers packed out pubs and clubs, with some braving freezing temperatures, while in the Welsh town of Aberystwyth one woman was seen lying in the road as she and a friend waved goodbye to 2015, reports MailOnline.

The revelers were clearly not in their senses – in London, a reveller was taken away on a stretcher while dozens more were tended to by the emergency services and temporary treatment centres. Some were handed blankets after braving temperatures below 0C in parts of the country. There were a total of 48 arrests in London overnight, including four for drug possession, three for carrying offensive or bladed weapons and five for assaults on police officers.  It is  reported that West Midlands Ambulance Service, which put a record number of crews on duty, dealt with 1,629 emergency call-outs between 8pm on New Year's Eve and 4am on New Year's Day.

In Philippines, New Year's firecrackers  left one man dead and hundreds injured after residents ignored government warnings about the dangerous devices.  The noisy crackers, which are believed by many in the country to drive away bad luck, also set fire to more than 1,000 huts in Manila after revellers accidentally fired a rocket into an abandoned hut.

Before you feel sad on the global incidents, back home in Chennai - four people died in separate road accidents during the New Year celebrations in Chennai and surrounding areas in the early hours of Friday, reports Times of India which adds that Police said around 900 road accidents were reported in the city from 12am to 8am.  Police said 90% of the accidents happened after two-wheelers skidded on the roads which were battered by the recent rain and floods. Several revelers, who were under the influence of alcohol, lost control of their bikes and met with the accidents. Police said the casualties were reported from Madhavaram, Ramapuram, Triplicane and Kelambakkam. At least 200 people were admitted to various hospitals. Around 400 people were treated as outpatients at government hospitals in the city.

What fun is this ? ~ are there not  saner ways of celebrating !! ?

With regards – S. Sampathkumar

1st Jan 2016.

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