Traffic arrangements put in place as President Obama arrives Delhi

November 7th, 2010 - 5:27 pm ICT by ANI  

Barack Obama New Delhi, Nov 7 (ANI): Authorities in the national capital have swung into action with a traffic plan to facilitate visiting US President Barack Obama’s various engagements.

The Prime Minister, Dr Manmohan Singh, personally received President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama at the Air Force Station, Palam, next to the Indira Gandhi International Airport on Sunday afternoon.

The Prime Minister’s wife, Gursharan Kaur, was also present to receive the Obamas’ when they landed here at around 3: 35 p.m. after a busy schedule in Mumbai.

Minister of protocol for Obama’s visit Salman Khursheed and Foreign Secretary Nirupama Rao were also present along with Dr. Singh.

Both carriageways from the Airport to the ITC Maurya, where the Obamas’ will be staying during their New Delhi visit has been closed today.

Traffic restrictions are also in place at Sardar Patel Marg, Ashoka Road, Kasturba Gandhi Marg, and Copernicus Marg from 8 a.m. and will continue in the similar fashion till 10 p.m.

The commuters have been advised to avoid these routs today.

President Obama and Michelle Obama will head directly to the renovated tomb of the second Mughal Emperor Humayun soon after their arrival here.

During his two-day stopover in the Indian capital, a multi-layered security has been put in place.

Security and intelligence officials have already secured and sanitized the ITC Maurya Hotel in Delhi, where the Obamas’ will be staying during their visit.

All routes leading to and out of the hotel have been placed under surveillance by both American and Indian security and intelligence agencies due to the high profile visit.

The ITC Maurya Sheraton has been made out of bounds for the public. Snipers have been deployed on rooftops along the route that the Obamas’ will take during the next two days.

Places like Humayun’s tomb and Rajghat, the memorial to Mahatma Gandhi, which are on the US President’s itinerary, have been closed to other visitors.

Around 2,000 police and paramilitary personnel will be deployed in and around the hotel, which had earlier hosted US Presidents Bill Clinton in 2000 and George W Bush in 2006 besides US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton last year.

Proximity security to Obama will be given by his guards while the other cordons will be manned by personnel from Delhi Police and paramilitary forces as also the elite National Security Guards (NSG).

The inner ring comprises 200 American secret service agents, while the outer ring will be manned by the Delhi police.

Mock security drills have been carried out at the Parliament, where the US President will address a joint session on Monday evening.

“The arrangements that we have made for him have been done several times before, when the Pakistani head of state visited us or when the Israeli Prime Minister had come. There is no special treatment just because he is the American President,” Joint Commissioner of Police, Traffic, Satender Garg had said prior to President Obama’s visit. (ANI)

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