The Chennai Police have announced the following traffic diversions in view of the visit of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, who is scheduled to inaugurate the new Assembly and Secretariat complex here on Saturday.
Commissioner of Police T. Rajendran said the traffic arrangements would be put in place between 3.30 p.m. and 7.30 p.m. on Saturday. Besides the Prime Minister, Congress president Sonia Gandhi, Chief Minister M. Karunanidhi, Governor Surjit Singh Barnala and Chief Ministers of three States would participate in the event.
Going by the tentative schedule, Mr. Rajendran said Dr. Singh would drive from the airport straight to the venue (Omandurar Estate) and return to the airport. A programme at the Indian Institute of Technology has been cancelled. A four-tier security cover was planned for the occasion, he said.
Mr. Rajendran said the Chennai Police would take over the new Assembly and Secretariat complex on March 12. Anti-sabotage checks with the help of Bomb Detection and Disposal Squad and sniffer dogs would be conducted. About 5,000 police personnel would be deployed for security. No preventive arrests were made yet, though police were questioning some persons on suspicion.
Police have issued vehicle passes in four different colours. Those with red passes would be allowed to enter Wallajah Road either from the Labour Statue or Anna Salai. Yellow vehicle pass holders could enter Wallajah Road from Labour Statue. Parking for these vehicles would be allowed at the Chepauk State Guest House and erstwhile Kalaivanar Arangam premises.
Vehicles with blue and pink passes would be allowed to enter Swami Sivananda Salai from Kamarajar Salai. These vehicles could be parked at the old MLA Hostel and vacant space near Doordarshan office. No other vehicle would be allowed to enter these routes.
Police and media vehicles would be allowed from Kamarajar Salai to park on the Madras University campus. Public vehicles could reach the function venue on Swami Sivananda Salai and park along the Marina Beach up to the Light House.
Vehicles going towards Anna Salai from Kamarajar Salai would have to go up to Kannagi Statue and take a diversion via Bharathi Road and G.P. Road. Vehicles proceeding to Parry's Corner from Anna Salai would be diverted at Spencer's junction to reach the destination via Binny Road, Marshals Road, Gandhi Irwin Road and E.V.R. Salai.
Vehicles going to Anna Salai from Muthusamy bridge would be diverted via E.V.R.Salai, Gandhi Irwin Road, Ega theatre junction, Dr. Gurusamy bridge, Sterling Road, College Road, Haddows Road and Nungambakkam High Road.
Vehicles proceeding from Chennai Central to Anna Nagar on E.V.R. Salai would not be allowed to take a left turn at Gandhi Irwin junction, Dr. Nayar bridge junction and Gengu Reddy subway.
No vehicle would be allowed between Spencer's Junction and Pallavan Road. If need be, traffic would be regulated on roads and lanes leading to this stretch, police said. Public vehicles coming to attend the function from GST Road would have to take a turn at Crescent College and take the Kelambakkam, Kovalam, East Coast Road, Thiruvanmiyur signal, Adyar bridge, Greenways Road, Santhome Road, Light House, Kamarajar Salai and Swami Sivananda Salai route.
Similarly, the vehicles coming from GNT Road would have to take the Erukancheri Highway, Basin Bridge Road, Moolakothalam, Walltax Road, E.V.R Salai, MMC junction, War Memorial, Napier Bridge and Swami Sivananda Salai route. Vehicles coming from Poonamallee High Road should take the Koyambedu, Ega Theatre, Central, War Memorial, Napier Bridge and Swami Sivananda Salai route to reach the function place.
Seeking the cooperation of the public in enforcing the traffic arrangements during the VVIPs' visit, Mr. Rajendran said police would coordinate with the MRTS officials with regard to operation of trains. A small stretch of the MRTS route near Chintadripet railway station runs close to the Omandurar Estate.
Shops in close vicinity to the function venue would remain closed for sometime on Saturday, he added.