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Visitors throng Marina, zoo on Kaanum Pongal

Under the watchful eyes of a large number of police personnel, thousands thronged the Marina to celebrate Kaanum Pongal on Friday.

Visitors throng Marina, zoo on Kaanum Pongal
Trade fair organised at Island Grounds; visitors at Vandalur Zoo; security measures at Guindy Children?s Park


“For the last eight years or so, I come here with my family at this time of the year when the beach is wonderful. This is a chance to spend time and enjoy ourselves,” said Anbu, a resident of Velachery, who came to Marina beach with his family. Speaking of how the police have done a very good job this year to ensure the safety of the visitors, he added that from crossing roads to keeping the parking orderly, the police have maintained order well. Police sources say that 32 cases of lost children were handled successfully by the temporary help centres located across the beach. These centres implemented a system where all children wore bands with their parents’ mobile phone numbers and other details. According to a police official, the number of visitors was less this year.

This time of the year is the best for business, said Ramesh, a food vendor on the beach. With many patrons, the Pongal season makes a bulk of the yearly business for the vendors here. However, Kanchana, who runs a toy stall on the beach, said that business has fallen this year. “This time is usually when we make the most money. But many are not buying things this year. People don’t have any money to spend,” she said. It is not just the local population, but tourists from around the world were present at the Marina. Valerie from Denmark, who is on her maiden trip, said, “The beach is beautiful and seeing such a crowd amazes me. I do not know much about the local festivals, but I hope to learn more.”

Meanwhile, with 56,749 visitors, Arignar Anna Zoological Park in Vandalur recorded the highest footfall in five years on Kaanum Pongal day. During the Pongal holidays, the zoo recorded 1,48,015 visitors – 27,071 more than last year.

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