Thousands of people gathered in front of the CSI Brough Memorial Church at the Panneerselvam Park Junction to welcome the New Year 2022, flouting all personal distancing and COVID-19 norms at midnight here on Saturday.

As the clock struck 12 and the huge screen on the church displayed, “Welcome 2022”, and the crowd shouted ‘Happy New Year’ amid much cheer and dance. Most of them were found not wearing masks while no personal distancing was maintained despite the State government asking people to avoid large gatherings for celebrations. The crowd that gathered from 10 p.m. on Friday started to disperse by 12.30 a.m. on Saturday as the police ensured that no untoward incident took place.

Vehicle users in inebriated condition and motorists riding vehicles at high speed were warned and let off by the police who had a tough time regulating vehicles at various places in the city. Barricades were erected on the road at Kalaimadu Silai, Panneerselvam Park, GH Roundabout, Swastik Corner and on Perundurai Road to regulate vehicles during and after the celebrations.

Devotees in large numbers thronged temples before midnight and in the early morning. Special prayers were conducted in churches too.

Since hotels, restaurants and bars were asked to close their business by 11 p.m., business was brisk from the evening on Friday.

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