City a fortress for five hours

The district administration has left no stone unturned to ensure safety during Prime Minister Narendra Modi's nearly five-hour-long visit to Patna - from 10.40am to 3.45pm on Saturday.

By Amit Bhelari
  • Published 14.10.17
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(From top) A mock drill of the PM’s cavalcade on Bailey Road, the venue at Science College, and an encroachment-free Ashok Rajpath in Patna on Friday. Pictures by Nagendra Kumar Singh

The district administration has left no stone unturned to ensure safety during Prime Minister Narendra Modi's nearly five-hour-long visit to Patna - from 10.40am to 3.45pm on Saturday.

The route the Prime Minister will take has been sanitised and the district administration has taken preventive measures to make the event peaceful in Patna and Mokama.

The Prime Minister is coming to Patna to take part in the centenary-year celebrations of Patna University and will also visit Mokama to inaugurate several projects. The district administration carried out a mock drill of the PM's cavalcade passing from Patna airport to Patna Science College where the main function is scheduled.

As per a plan chalked out by the SPG and the Patna district administration, the Prime Minister will land at Patna airport in an army chopper around 10.40am and be taken to the college. Once the function there ends, at 12.40pm, he will go back to Patna airport by road and depart for Mokama with chief minister Nitish Kumar. Once the Mokama function ends, he will return to Patna airport at 3.40pm and depart for New Delhi.

The district administration has deployed 7,000 police jawans and 300 magistrates to oversee both events. "All preparations for the Prime Minister's visit are over,"Patna district magistrate (DM) Sanjay Kumar Agarwal said. "We successfully conducted a mock drill of the PM's cavalcade. I went to Mokama by a state chopper to check preparations. Everything is fine there too."

Route diversions would set in from 9am. Instructions have been issued for immediate action against those violating the Patna traffic police's route plan. The Patna DM has urged those attending the PM's prog-ramme at Patna Science College to occupy their seats by 9.30am to avoid last-minute security checks. Patna University has issued 4,200 invitation cards for the main function.

"We are trying our best to ensure the common man faces fewer problems, keeping traffic restrictions when the PM is in town to a minimum," Agarwal said. "Once the PM leaves Science College and reaches Patna airport, traffic movement would return to normal."

Extra forces have been deployed near the main stage and surrounding Ashok Rajpath and also on highrises.

State disaster response force (SDRF) and national disaster response force (NDRF) teams have intensified patrolling on the banks of the Ganga.

Patna senior superintendent of police (SSP) Manu Maharaaj said adequate police forces, including in civvies, have been deployed. "Round the clock patrolling will take place tonight in Ashok Rajpath and surrounding areas," Maharaj told The Telegraph. "Quick response force is also on alert and raids are taking place at many hotels today. Our police is all prepared. I'm sure things will pass smoothly."

Both Agarwal and Maharaj jointly inspected the Science College ground.