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Karnataka, Tamil Nadu Impose Curfew on New Year Eve, Telangana to Allow Bars to Remain Open Till 1 am

Salespersons handover liquor bottles to customers at the entrance of their outlet during a lockdown to curb the spread of new coronavirus, in Bangalore, on May 6, 2020. (AP Photo/Aijaz Rahi)

Salespersons handover liquor bottles to customers at the entrance of their outlet during a lockdown to curb the spread of new coronavirus, in Bangalore, on May 6, 2020. (AP Photo/Aijaz Rahi)

The Karnataka government has banned gathering of five or more people and celebration on New Year is strictly prohibited on roads.

Ahead of New Year’s eve, the Karnataka government has imposed curfew at 6 pm restricting celebrations, while the Telangana government has allowed bars to open till 1 am in Telangana amid strict vigilance on the New Year.

The Karnataka government has banned gathering of five or more people and celebration on New Year is strictly prohibited on roads. Any form of gatherings in public places, main roads, open areas for the purpose of any celebrations for New Year is strictly prohibited.

Meanwhile, in Karnataka, hotel, mall, restaurant, club, pub, club house or any similar type of establishment holding New Year's celebration shall not organize any events.

However, they may carry out their regular business activity, including music within permissible decibels, following Covid-19 protocol. It has also prohibited that no waiting crowd is allowed to form outside their premises.

The state government has also taken note on traffic regulations maintaining that any violation on New Year would be followed strictly.

Telangana Relaxes Bar Timings

The Telangana government on the other hand is focussing on increasing revenue, besides the ban on new year celebrations. Chief Secretary Somesh Kumar issued orders permitting to open wine shops till midnight 12 and the bars till 1 am across the state on the eve of new year celebrations on the request of the Director of the excise department Sarfaraj Ahmed.

While the state government's decision has come as a relief to restrobars and clubs, strict instructions have been given to ensure there is no mass gathering and only those wearing masks are allowed to enter. Even parties within gated communities will have to wrap up by 1 am.

The excise department's attitude has become a topic of discussion as the central government has made it clear to all states to monitor New Year celebrations and prevent the spread of coronavirus.

In addition to that, traffic restrictions have been imposed in various parts of the city with police personnel keeping a close vigil to maintain law and order. All flyovers in the city except Begumpet flyover will be closed on Thursday evening till Jan 1. Private buses, lorries and heavy vehicles will not be allowed in Hyderabad city limits till 2 AM on Friday.

Only those traveling for the Rajiv Gandhi International Airport will be allowed to take the Outer Ring Road between 11 PM and 5 AM. Passengers are advised to keep their tickets handy as there will be police checkposts at the entry points of the Outer Ring Road.

Checkposts will be set-up in all the three commissionerates- Hyderabad, Cyberabad and Rachakonda to launch extensive checks to curb drunk driving, rash driving, overspeeding, triple riding and other traffic violations for public safety.

Those driving under the influence of alcohol could face a penalty of Rs 10,000 or land in jail for up to 6 months for the first offence and a penalty of Rs 15,000 or up to 2-year imprisonment for a second or subsequent offence.

Tamil Nadu Imposes Curbs

Tamil Nadu government has also banned any celebrations on the eve of welcoming 2021 in Chennai and other main cities and towns across the state as the lockdown is in effect.

"Celebrations in all star hotels, restaurants, bars, pubs and private resorts will have to be closed by 10 pm on Thursday. All eateries also will have to shut by 10 pm," said a statement from the Chennai police commissioner Mahesh Kumar Aggarwal.

"More than 10,000 policemen will be involved in providing security and also preventing people from coming to Maria. These policemen will be responsible to close the eateries, hotels and pubs by 10 pm," said the statement.

The police department has also taken a decision to close all over bridges within the city for traffic. "Since Thursday morning onwards, police have set up check posts in more than 300 places across the city. The police has warned that hotels, resorts and pubs which violate the police order, action will be taken strictly," said a senior police official.

(With inputs from Revathi Rajeevan in Bangalore, PV Ramana Kumar and Swastika Das in Hyderabad and V Gokularaman from Chennai)