Puducherry, Dec 29( BPNS)
With the Union Territory reporting two cases of Omicron with an Octogenarian and a 21-year-old woman testing positive on Tuesday, there were apprehensions that the New Year festivities would be curtailed.
However, the administration of the Union Territory has permitted the New Year celebrations to be carried out by strictly adhering to Covid -19 protocols. The Puducherry Lt. Governor, Dr. Tamilisai Soundararajan has directed the administration to take strict measures while allowing the New Year celebrations in the UT.
The L-G in a statement said that Puducherry has a vibrant tourism industry and the administration is to achieve a balance between preventing the spread of the disease and not hamper those working in the tourism industry that provides bread and butter to a large number of people.
The UT will deploy teams comprising of health, revenue, and police officials to monitor the celebrations and they will ensure that attendance at every venue is according to the sanctioned strength. The health department will conduct random testing and those who are symptomatic will not be allowed to enter the venue.
The Puducherry administration has also planned a three-day grand programme for New Year with the weekends also increasing the holiday mood. A large number of tourists from Northern Indian states and even abroad has already reached the Union Territory and almost all the hotels and resorts in Puducherry are full.
Rajesh Joseph Chacko, a tourist resort operator while speaking to BPNS said, “Puducherry administration has allowed us to admit tourists for the New Year celebrations under strict Covid -19 protocol. Almost all the resorts of the UT are full and people from North Indian states have already reached here for the celebrations.”
The biggest event, according to tour operators and the Puducherry tourism department would be held at Old Port for three consecutive days on December 30, 31, and 1st January 2022. The administration has allowed permission for 2000 to 3000 guests for the programme that would be conducted openly with the performance of live music bands.
Excise department sources said that around 40 applications for serving liquor on a temporary basis have been received under the Special License scheme or FL3 license in the UT. Those resorts and restaurants that do not have a license to serve liquor have applied for special licenses for the New Year celebrations, sources said.