The nip in the air tempered by the gentle sun on the first day of the New Year was reason enough for the residents of Jamshedpur to throng the popular picnic spots in and around the city.
Jubilee Park, Tata Steel Zoological Park, Ghorabandha Theme Park, Bhetya Park, Dorabji Tata Park, Hudco and Dimna lakes were all packed to the brim.
The maximum crowd count of 40,000 was registered at Jubilee Park followed by Dimna Lake at 30,000. The crowd at the Ghorabandha Theme Park and Hudco lake was estimated at 15,000 and 10,000, respectively.
Chandil dam, around 35km from the city, witnessed a footfall of 20,000. The entry of vehicles through Jubilee Park was restricted to avoid traffic snarls.
Parking was allowed only outside the park premises and people were seen hiring e-rickshaws to reach the zoo. Traffic cops were deployed near all the popular picnic spots to tackle the rush.
“We have beefed up surveillance through cameras, cops in civil dress and also uniforms from December 24 across all picnic spots in and around the city. It will continue till the end of January,” superintendent of police (city) Subhash Chandra Jat.
Cops were also posted at strategic locations to check speeding, drunk driving and overloading.
Resorts and hotels along NH-33 such as The Wave International, 10th Milestone, The Hut and Hill View Resort also remained crowded..
“The weather is perfect for picnics. Children also had a blast. We had enjoyed New Year eve party at home around a bonfire. Today, we went on a long drive. Though the venues were too crowded, there is a New Year feel to them,” said Harish Lal, an employee with a private firm, who spent his day with his six-member family at The Hill View Resort.
Dimna lake witnessed a number of tourists from Bengal. Families and picnic groups reached the venue in buses.
Families that went out of the city on Wednesday preferred scenic locations such as Narwapahar, Hathikheda and Kanderbera. These venues witnessed a crowd between 3,000 and 6,000.
Many welcomed the new year by visiting temples and praying for their dear ones.
Beldih Kalibari had a long queue. “We believe that the first day of the year should be spent at the most sacred of places,” said Kironmayee Guha, who had gone to Beldih Kalibari to offer prayers.