Mumbai pads up for its first World Cup final (Lead)

April 2nd, 2011 - 1:59 pm ICT by IANS  

Mumbai, April 2 (IANS) Enthusiastic cricket fans, vigilant security officers, giant screens at restaurants and bars, packed hotels, Mumbai was buzzing with uncontainable excitement before the start of the World Cup final between India and Sri Lanka.

Barring the lucky ones who have tickets for the Wankhede Stadium, most of Mumbai’s 14 million people plan to enjoy the match at home, hotels and restaurants, multiplexes, and pubs and clubs where giant screens have been installed for the city’s first World Cup final.

Road traffic in Mumbai was noticeably thin. The usually crowded tourist spots wore a deserted look.

“This will be compensated when India wins the match and the entire nation celebrates. It will be a Diwali in April!” said Krishnamurthy S.K., an avid cricket fan.

The enthusiasm was no less in other major cities of Maharashtra like Pune, Nagpur, Aurangabad, Jalgaon, Kolhapur and Sholapur.

South Mumbai has turned into a fortress. Several teams of Mumbai Police, the National Security Guards, Maharashtra’s elite Force One, Rapid Action Force, State Reserve Police Force and Quick Response Team are deployed at the Wankhede Stadium.

Police have appealed to people not to use public transport for the day in view of severe traffic regulations and security reasons.

Barring VVIPs and VIPs, all other vehicles shall be parked at least one kilometer away from the venue. People must either walk down to the stadium or take BEST buses for the nearest drop to the venue.

With the Maharashtra government declaring Saturday a special public holiday, private offices also followed suit and declared it a half working day.

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