Concern mounts as revelers invade Bhubaneswar tourist spots | Bhubaneswar News

BHUBANESWAR: The presence of large numbers of revelers at various recreational and tourist venues in and around the city ahead of the New Year has raised concern from the authorities following the Omicron threat.
People from different neighborhoods came in large numbers to the capital causing a huge rush to shopping malls and winter hotspots like Deras, Dhauli, Khandagiri, Ekamra Haat, Ekamra Kanan, Nandankanan Zoo and Botanical Garden and Dhabaleswar Temple . Even the Building and Unit 1 market witnessed a huge rush of people violating Covid guidelines like wearing masks and maintaining social distancing.
“It seems that the restrictions are only on pen and paper. At a time when Covid cases have started to rise in other states and Omicron is spreading rapidly in India, this type of careless behavior is certainly a sign In addition to increased surveillance by police and civic agencies, the government should deploy volunteers to control crowds,” said Prakash Chandra Swain, a businessman who was stuck in a traffic jam in Rasulgarh Square on Saturday.
“The Nandankanan Zoo and Botanical Garden on the outskirts of the city has been drawing huge crowds for a week and the rush could continue into next month,” a zoo official said. “People have been bored staying at home for over a year now due to Covid and subsequent lockdowns and lockdowns. Now that many have been vaccinated and cases have also dropped dramatically, they don’t want to miss the nice weather and occasions like Christmas and New Year,” he added.
He said more than 20,000 people visited the zoo on Saturday, many of them from other districts and neighboring states like West Bengal and Jharkhand.
Tourist sites like the Khandagiri-Udaygiri Caves and the Dhauli Peace Pagoda have also seen large numbers of visitors from within and outside the city.
“We wanted to take a trip over the Christmas holidays to take a break from the monotony of working from home and online classes. According to reports, Omicron is not deadly compared to other variants of coronavirus although it can infect more people. There are also rumors of another round of shutdowns in the near future, so enjoy it better today,” said Swagatika Patnaik, an IT professional.
Esplanade Mall, Ekamra Haat and Market Building have become major hotspots for revelers. The “No mask, no entry” sign on the door was present in name only, as many people were not wearing masks and there was no provision for heat screening and hand sanitizer .
Police sources said the deployment of cops has been increased at major recreational venues, but if crowds become unmanageable strict action will be taken.

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