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Delhi ready to receive Obama

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A view of an illuminated North and South Block in New Delhi, on Jan 21, 2015.

 

A view of an illuminated North and South Block in New Delhi, on Jan 21, 2015.
A view of an illuminated North and South Block in New Delhi, on Jan 21, 2015.

The national capital was fully prepared to receive US President Barack Obama, who lands here Sunday for a three-day visit. Home Minister Rajnath Singh Wednesday said security has been tightened and there will be no problems.

“All security arrangements are in place. There will be no problem anywhere,” he told reporters.

An unprecedented security net has been spread in Rajpath and surrounding areas in view of Obama, the chief guest for this year’s Republic Day parade, sitting there in the open for around two hours.

Thousands of CCTV cameras and security officials are in service for around the clock vigil.

All routes from ITC Maurya, the hotel where the US president would be staying, to Rajpath are being monitored.

All entry points to India Gate have been sealed and a seven-layer security net has been put in the area, sources said.

Special cameras that can capture every tiny detail of the surroundings as well as the details of the human face have been installed in front of ITC Maurya hotel where US President Barack Obama and his wife Michelle will be staying for three days beginning Jan 25.

The entire 500-metre stretch on Sardar Patel Marg along which Maurya is situated has been fully covered by over 20 such specialized cameras installed at around 20 feet distance on electric poles, trees and iron railings to ensure security during the VVIP visit.

In keeping with the heightened security, the Delhi Police team, including a sub-inspector, stationed outside the hotel is not allowing vehicles to stop even for a second outside the gate.

People are not allowed to loiter outside the hotel. Anybody found loitering is questioned by the officers and told to move on quickly.

A sand-bagged police picket has come up outside the hotel manned by three carbine-wielding policemen.

A Police Control Room (PCR) van is also stationed round-the-clock a few metres away from the gate.

CCTVs installed on a pole at Jantar Mantar in New Delhi, on Jan 20, 2015. 15,000 CCTV cameras have been installed ahead of US President Barack Obama's visit to the national capital.
CCTVs installed on a pole at Jantar Mantar in New Delhi, on Jan 20, 2015. 15,000 CCTV cameras have been installed ahead of US President Barack Obama’s visit to the national capital.

The next-door Taj Palace has been asked to beef up its security. A Delhi Police team is also stationed at the hotel.

The branches of dense trees outside Maurya and Taj hotels and along Sardar Patel Marg have been pruned, and white halogen lamps installed on trees and lamp posts to enhance lighting in the area.

ITC Maurya has hand-picked a team of 50 expert staff who will look after US President Barack Obama and his wife Michelle during their three-day stay at the super luxury hotel here.

“We have over 70 specialised staff to take care of the US president and his wife. But we have chosen a team of 50 and the remaining 20 will remain on standby,“ a hotel source said, refusing to be identified because of stringent security restrictions.

The staff, who have been cleared by Indian and American security, will look after the needs of the US president and his wife — from serving food, water, answering their rings, ushering them, and remain on their toes to follow any command.

The team will be headed by seniors of the hotel management who have previous experience in dealing with such high profile dignitaries.

The staff who attended to Obama during his 2010 visit when he stayed at the hotel have been asked to remain on attendance.

The team has been put through extensive background checks by the Delhi Police.

They will remain put in the hotel during the presidential visit that begins Jan 25 early morning.

The attire of the staff will also be put through thorough checking before they can begin serving the US president, said the sources.

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