The music was loud, the girls looked glamorous and the cars were, well, cars. Around noon, it all became a tad too heady for the wildly cheering crowds, or so the policemen on duty concluded.
They temporarily shut down the shows at what has been billed as the world’s biggest automotive exhibition at Pragati Maidan, leaving the organisers livid.
They are now threatening to take the show outside Delhi.
“Though we want to stay here, we will have to look for alternate sites because the show will only get bigger in 2012,” said Chandrajit Banerjee, director general of the Confederation in Indian Industry, one of the organisers.
“We may look at some alternative in the NCR itself and probably in Gurgaon,” he added.
If the show does move out of Delhi, it will be a big loss for India Trade Promotion Organisation, which is expected to make around Rs 28 crore from the Auto Expo.
The expo itself may lose any chance of being considered in the same league as the Geneva, Frankfurt, Detroit or Tokyo motor shows, the organisers said. It’s quite big with 2,100 companies from 30 countries participating this time (see box for more).
The police said the shutdown was temporary and only undertaken to control the crowds. A team of 15 police officers went around closing stage shows hosted by Toyota, Honda, Hyundai and Honda Motorcycles and Scooter India between 12 and 4 PM.
Delhi Police spokesperson Rajan Bhagat said, “The police closed the stalls for some time to prevent any untoward incident from happening.”
“Two of our Asimo (robot) shows were cancelled,” said a Honda spokesperson.