Mumbai: Security tight for PM visit on Saturday, but few curbs on traffic
Security was beefed up, special police teams were deployed, trial runs done and the bomb detection and dog squads conducted recons on Friday to get Mumbai ready for Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit today.
The PM arrives in Mumbai on Saturday for the foundation ceremony of the Shiv Smarak, a memorial in the Arabian Sea for the Maratha king Chhatrapati Shivaji.
Authorities have said there will be no traffic diversions on Satuday.
“The police have been deployed at different points. We are taking utmost care as far as security is concerned. Along with the local police, special forces such as the SRPF and QRT will also be part of the security arrangements,” said Ashok Dudhe, deputy commissioner of police and Mumbai police’s spokesperson .
Girgaum Chowpatty is the PM’s first stop, from where he will take a hovercraft to head to the site where the memorial statue will be built.
He will take part in a bhoomipoojan and ‘jal-poojan there, after which he will head to the MMRDA grounds at Bandra Kurla Complex.
His rally at the MMRDA grounds is likely to take place around 3.30pm.
Sources said this route between Girgaum Chowpatty and BKC will see heavy security during the day.
The State Reserve Police Force and Quick Response Teams will coordinate with the local police stations and senior IPS officials as the PM’s convoy moves from Girgaum to BKC.
On the ground, Mumbai traffic police’s personnel from south Mumbai and the western suburbs to ensure the roads the VIP convoy takes are not crowded. Traffic police officials have been divided into teams to manage these areas.
“There won’t be any diversions for traffic. The PM’s visit is unlikely to cause inconvenience to motorists. The traffic will be held up for a couple of minutes only when the PM’s convoy is moving,” said a traffic official, not wishing to be named.
Officials said traffic snarls are unlikely as it is a weekend, when fewer vehicles are on the Western Express Highway.
Police teams also carried out a dummy bandobast on Friday to ensure preparations are in order and that there are no loopholes.