Colaba-resident Prachi Sharma (name changed), 45, had policemen knocking at her door on Wednesday. The homemaker had to let them in for conducting a recce of her house as Sharma’s living room window directly faces INS Kunjli – the helipad where US President Barack Obama’s Marine One helicopter will land on Saturday.
“They came to take a look at security risks and told us that they will be posting a policeman on our roof,” said Sharma. “Although we have been issued parking stickers, we haven’t been told which routes to avoid.”
Artist Nalini Malani, 64, a resident of Mereweather Road, who has a direct view of the Taj hotel from her studio, will park her car at her mother’s residence on Warden Road. “I’m looking forward to a quiet Diwali. I won’t be stepping out of my house,” said Malani.
Another Mereweather Road-resident Raju Jagtiani, 64, is glad he doesn’t own a car. “The residents of my building have been issued parking stickers, but have been told to park their cars at Cooperage for the duration of Obama’s stay as our building doesn’t have a parking area,” said the ex-employee of Reliance Power.
A-Ward corporator Vinod Shekar, who stays close to the Holy Name School, which Obama will visit on Saturday, said, “I’m happy with the security measures that have been put in place and residents must do everything to cooperate.”
Kunti Oza, who also lives near Holy Name School on Best Marg, is excited about Obama’s visit despite some inconvenience. However, Obama’s visit has forced Oza to postpone her annual Diwali lunch at her in-laws place at Marine Drive. “I guess when someone as important as Obama comes, it is inevitable,” said Oza.
But, other residents are not as accommodating. “Why does he have to come during the festival season? We were planning to go for a movie on Saturday, but with all the checking and roadblocks, it’s not worth the effort,” said Ruchi Mehra (name changed), who lives across the Radio Club, at the end of Apollo Bunder Road.