Around 1,100 people were arrested for not wearing masks and 189 motorists were prosecuted for drink driving in Kolkata and Salt Lake on New Year’s Eve.
In Kolkata, 537 people were arrested for not wearing masks. The corresponding figure for the Bidhannagar commissionerate area was 510.
More than 3,000 police personnel were deployed in Kolkata, many of them on and around Park Street.
Although the New Year’s Eve revelry on Park Street started on a low key, the footfall increased as the midnight approached. At no point of time, however, Park Street had to be closed to vehicles, police said.
“The crowd on Park Street and other places was less compared with pre-pandemic New Year’s Eve. The Covid fear possibly kept many indoors. Those who turned up were not allowed to move around maskless,” said an officer who was
posted on Park Street on Friday night.
The police had distributed masks to those who said they were not carrying one.
Those who refused to wear masks even after being told to do so were taken to Park Street police station and prosecuted under the disaster management act.
People were also prosecuted for violation of the mask mandate at Alipore zoo, Victoria Memorial and other public places on Friday afternoon.
In the Bidhannagar commissionerate area, the majority of the prosecutions were reported from Salt Lake, Lake Town and Baguiati, the police said.
Kolkata police carried out a night-long drive against drink driving and prosecuted 160 motorists. In Salt Lake, 29 motorists were prosecuted for the offence on Friday night.
Last year, 310 motorists were prosecuted for drink driving in Kolkata, which was almost double the numbers last night.
“Last year, we could not use breathalysers and all the prosecutions were based on intuition and visible evidence of driving in an intoxicated state. This year we used the machine. Besides, there were fewer cars on the roads compared with December 31 the previous year,” said an officer of the traffic department.
Of the 160 drink driving cases reported between 10pm on Friday and 5am on Saturday, only 20 were reported from the Park Street belt.
“It was a welcome change. Unlike previous years, we found many people coming out of bars and nightclubs hailing a cab or leaving in their cars with chauffeurs at the wheel. This is responsible behaviour. We always request people to take drivers on days they plan to party,” the officer said.
An officer posted on Chowringhee Road said this year they faced lesser resistance from motorists when they were asked to take the breathalyser test.