Chandigarh is star-studded these days!October 21st, 2008 - 4:07 pm ICT by IANS
Chandigarh, Oct 21 (IANS) Chandigarh is star-studded these days with the presence of so many cricket and film celebrities coming down to the city. Cricket teams of India and Australia are staying in Chandigarh as they had come to take part in the second test match of the Gavaskar-Border series at the Punjab Cricket Association (PCA) stadium in Mohali, around 10 km from here.
Leading players of international stature like Sachin Tendulkar, Anil Kumble, Mahender Singh Dhoni, Ricky Ponting, Mathew Hayden and Brett Lee are staying in the Taj hotel.
One can easily see the countless young cricket fans waiting for them in Taj’s lobby to have a glimpse of their favourite player or to have an autograph or photograph clicked with them.
Sachin’s wife Anjali Tendulkar also arrived in the city Saturday on a special invitation from I.S. Bindra, president of PCA and principal advisor to ICC, and his wife Kamal Bindra.
Aussie’s pace spearhead Brett Lee also visited the famous Indian Coffee House and enjoyed the special coffee there. R.P. Singh and Rahul Dravid also preferred to chill out and shop.
Apart from the cricketers, many Bollywood stars like Rani Mukherjee, Preity Zinta, Anupam Kher, Shahid Kapoor and Dalip Tahil are also staying at Taj. They all are in the city for a film shoot.
Confirming their stay in Taj, its general manager Anil Malhotra told IANS Tuesday: “They all are staying here and some more Bollywood stars are expected to come here in the next few days. All the rooms have been booked here and most of them are occupied by our celebrity guests.
“So many celebrity guests, staying at the same time have also increased our responsibilities manifold. Apart from the Chandigarh police officials, our own private security personnel have also been deployed here,” he added.
Assistant Superintendent of Police Madhur Verma said: “Seeing a noticeable increase in the inflow of tourists especially celebrities in the city, the Chandigarh police is on its toes all through the day and night. Cops have been stationed at all the tourist destinations in the city.”
“In the case of celebrities coming to the city, normally we have prior information about their schedule and we make security arrangements well in advance. Police officials in civil clothes have been deployed around the VIPs coming to the city,” Verma said.
“We have provided our liaison security officers with both the Indian and Australian team. Our escort vehicles remain along with the team buses whenever they go anywhere,” said Verma.