Obama visit: Ferry service to temporarily go off at Gateway | mumbai | Hindustan Times
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Obama visit: Ferry service to temporarily go off at Gateway

mumbai Updated: Nov 02, 2010 15:54 IST

As part of security measures ahead of the US President's visit in Mumbai, police have issued notices to boat operators asking them not to ferry vessels from the Gateway of India for three days beginning November 5.

"No boat would ferry from the four jetties at the Gateway of India from November 5 for three days, owing to police orders. We were issued notices in this regard and were given security reasons for suspension of our boat services," Iqbal Mukadam, General Secretary, Gateway Elephanta Jal-Vahatuk Sahakari Sanstha Maryadit said.

The orders have, however, upset boat operators as US President Barack Obama's visit is coinciding with the most important business weekend.

"Diwali weekend is usually a business time for us as tourists throng to jetties to board boats and spend some time in the sea. But Obama's programme has hit our business," Mukadam said.

A senior police official said that they were leaving no stone unturned and except Mumbai police's speed boats, no private vessels would be allowed to sail during these three days, off the shores of Gateway of India.

The landmark is just opposite the Taj hotel where Obama would stay during his visit to Mumbai on November 6-7.

Nearly 90 boats daily ferry tourists from and to the island of Elephanta Caves, in the Mumbai harbour, that contain some of the most magnificent sculptures in the Deccan.

Around 450 police personnel equipped with weapons like AK 47s, will patrol the city's shores up to five nautical miles, an area that falls under the jurisdiction of Mumbai police.

In addition, cops have also instructed boat owners to submit ID proofs of all their employees to the nearest police station before the US President arrives in Mumbai.