Chennai

Chinese President to reach Mamallapuram by road

Chinese President Xi Jinping and his official entourage have preferred not to use a chopper from the Chennai airport to reach Mamallapuram, where informal talks between him and Prime Minister Narendra Modi is scheduled to take place on Friday and Saturday. Instead, they will be taking the road to reach the venue, as they do not consider helicopter the “right mode for safe transport”, according to sources.

Mr. Modi will arrive at the Chennai airport from New Delhi by a special aircraft in the forenoon of Friday, before the arrival of Mr. Xi. Mr. Modi will be received by Tamil Nadu Chief Minister and his cabinet colleagues at the airport.

Around 1 p.m., a special aircraft carrying Mr. Xi and his retinue will land at the airport. He will be given a red-carpet welcome and received as per protocol. He will then reach the ITC Grand Chola Hotel in Guindy. Around 4 p.m., on Friday, he will leave the hotel to reach Mamallapuram by road — a journey of around 50 km. The city police are taking steps to ensure foolproof security measures and traffic arrangements on the VVIP route to prevent inconvenience to the dignitaries as well as the public.

In view of the high profile visit of heads of state, the authorities have suspended booking of cargo from Wednesday, and receipt of parcel until October 12. Civic authorities, with the help of the city police, removed encroachments on pavements near the airport.

Searches conducted

“We are searching buildings, including lodges and hotels, from the airport to Muttukadu. The Kancheepuram police are taking care of security aspects beyond this. We are collecting details of residents in every building. We have been doing this for the past few days, and have advised hoteliers and others to alert us if they find anyone staying or moving around in a manner that might arouse suspicion,” a senior police officer said. Though the route and final plans have not been confirmed, the police said they were planning to regulate traffic movement on expected routes — Rajiv Gandhi Salai and the East Coast Road.

Meanwhile, City Police Commissioner A.K. Viswanathan issued a statement denying having issued any advisory, as was being circulated on mobile messaging platforms and social media. Mr. Viswanathan said: “The Greater Chennai police have not issued any advisory regarding closure or diversion of traffic, closure of educational institutions and commercial establishments or for any other activity during the visit of the Prime Minister of India and the President of the People’s Republic of China, on October 11 and 12.” Every effort is being made to ensure that people are not inconvenienced due to security and traffic arrangements, he added.

The Education Department also has not issued orders to close schools during the two-day summit. Schools will work on October 11 and 12, sources confirmed.

More police personnel will be deployed on roads leading to Mamallapuram. Traffic would be closed on both sides of the road, an hour ahead of VVIP movement.

Officials of the Special Protection Group and the Ministry of External Affairs, visited the venue of the summit in Mamallapuram, and reviewed security arrangements alongwith police officers.


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Printable version | Oct 23, 2021 3:23:23 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/chennai/chinese-president-to-reach-mamallapuram-by-road/article29621839.ece

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