More cops than lovers as city witnesses muted Valentine’s Day celebrations

With more of khakhi and less of red on the streets, City Beautiful celebrated a peaceful Valentine' s Day this year. Almost all the favourite spots of the Chandigarh youth were under a high police cover including the famous geri route of Sector 10, Rose Garden and the Sector 17 plaza.

The subdued celebrations affected the flower business across the city.

"There has been a decline in the demand for flowers this time as there is not much enthusiasm among people for the festival. It may be because of the increased police cover in the city due to the Delhi gangrape and the atmosphere of the country. Although, our business has been affected, we are with the nation and understand people's reservations, said Ravi Puri, a floral shop-owner in Sector 10.

Despite lesser demand, there was still a hike in the prices of the flowers, particularly the roses. " I am buying yellow and red roses for my friends and colleagues as I think Valentine' s Day is not just meant for couples. But they are a little more costly today. One rose that cost Rs 15 earlier is now being sold at Rs 40 today (Thursday)," informed Harpriya, Professor, DAV College.

" There is a lot of police outside the college premises today which is a good thing as the boys are under a lot of control this time and the system is far better than the previous years," said Pawan , a student of B. Com, first year in D. A. V. College.

Balloon vendors of the city were even worse affected due to the lack of demand. Though the balloon sellers dotted the roads in different sectors, they seemed unhappy with the sales.

Although, there was a lack of zeal for the festival among the local people this time, there were some couples especially newly- weds that were celebrating it at the Bougainvillea Garden, Sector 3 ; Rose Garden and other spots. "It is very special for me as this is the first time that my husband has ever gifted me something on Valentine' s Day," said Geeta who was on an outing with her husband Mandeep at the Bougainvillea Garden.

" I feel the day has been over hyped and people have lost their interest in it as there is nothing new that the city has to offer, " said Kanupriya, a student of Panjab University.

332 challans issued, PCR gets three calls of sexual molestation

The city traffic police stepped up their presence on Valentine's Day with as many as 16 nakas across Chandigarh to regulate traffic on Thursday. In all, 332 challans were issued by Traffic Police for various violations.

Most of the challans were of over-speeding (155), black film (47) and triple riding on two wheelers. Some joint naka of police stations, Police Control Rooms (PCR), IRB and the Crime Branch were also put on from 8 am to 3.30 pm on the geri route and other busy streets. PCR received three calls of sexual molestation.

During the joint naka 32 challans were issued for various violations. Beside, nine vehicles were impounded for violating traffic rules. Traffic police collected total cash worth Rs 34,700 on the spot as the compounding fee of the traffic challans.

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