Chopper to ferry US prez, cops to clean up Kamathipura | mumbai | Hindustan Times
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Chopper to ferry US prez, cops to clean up Kamathipura

US President Barack Obama is likely to begin his tour of India with a helicopter flight in special US Marines chopper Marines One to Indian naval base INS Kunjali in Colaba.

mumbai Updated: Oct 30, 2010 15:39 IST
HT Correspondent

US President Barack Obama is likely to begin his tour of India with a helicopter flight in special US Marines chopper Marines One to Indian naval base INS Kunjali in Colaba.

In a report submitted to the Maharashtra government, the Mumbai police have said this is the safest and quickest way for Obama to reach Colaba.

“The naval base was chosen over the helipad at Raj Bhavan as it is a more secure location,” said a senior police officer, speaking on condition of anonymity as he is not authorised to speak to the press.

With no details of Obama’s itinerary available yet, and the November 6 date now looming, sources said the police have also chalked out three alternative Standard Operating Procedures for traffic arrangements, law-and-order and protection — all based on lessons learned and practices followed during then US President Bill Clinton’s visit to Mumbai in 2000.

The SOPs, sources said, have been drafted under the direct supervision of Police Commissioner Sanjeev Dayal, who served with the Special Protection Group that guards the Prime Minister.

The main sticking point for the police, however, has become Kamathipura, Mumbai’s red light district.

While a team of US secret service officials has already checked out the area that First Lady Michelle Obama intends to visit, the Mumbai police are now working in ‘sanitising and securing’ the 5-sq-km area.