Eco Park breaks Xmas record
New Town: Eco Park sold as many as 138,000 tickets on New Year's Day, breaking its Christmas count of 107,398 tickets.
Officials of Hidco, which maintains the 480-acre entertainment zone with a sprawling water body in New Town, said the actual footfall on January 1 could be much higher because the rush of visitors had forced employees at the gates at one point to stop checking tickets.
A Hidco employee who was posted at gate No. 1 said they stopped checking tickets after 2.30pm as the queues outside had stretched almost a kilometre.
"I was at gate No. 1, near the Westin Hotel. The queue of visitors around 2.30pm must have been at least a kilometre long. It stretched way beyond the parking lot, which is 800m from the ticket counter," the official said.
All four parking lots of the park were packed to their capacity. Buses, mini-trucks and Matadors that had ferried people to the park were seen parked on the road next to gate No. 6, near Deer Park.
Also, the Major Arterial Road, on which the park is located, was chock-a-block with cars throughout the day.
As the number of vehicles headed to the park increased by the hour, the Bidhannagar police commissionerate started diverting traffic at 4pm.
All vehicles headed to the airport were diverted towards the Unitech intersection near New Town police station after they passed the Rabindra Tirtha crossing.
Only those headed for Eco Park were allowed to take a left turn after crossing Aliah University and hit the Major Arterial Road.
On New Year's Eve, the park had drawn 94,000 visitors. The Alipore zoo, an old favourite, had drawn 81,000 visitors on December 31 and 1,10,000 on New Year's Day.
On Christmas Day, 1,07,398 people had visited the park. The footfall at the zoo the same day was 92,426.
"This year we had the most number of people dropping in. Several special arrangements had been made keeping the number of visitors in mind," Hidco chairman Debashis Sen said.
"People just kept coming in. There was not a time in the day when the crowd ebbed," said Neil Law of Adventure Zone, which runs adventure activities at the park.
Selfie-seekers were spoilt for choice with the Mask Garden, the replica of Ghoom railway station, the water body and the flowers providing a perfect backdrop. "Most of the time we lazed around and some of us also went kayaking," said Golf Green resident Anirban Chatterjee.