Indian Express

Police advise to Modi: Speak less, avoid traffic snarl during peak hours

Modi will address the combined Shiv Sena and BJP rally at MMRDA grounds, Bandra Kurla Complex. Tweet This
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Police discuss the security arrangement at BKC on Saturday, ahead of Sonia Gandhi’s rally at the venue on Sunday. Modi will address a rally at the same venue on Monday.(IE Photo: Dilip Kagda) Police discuss the security arrangement at BKC on Saturday, ahead of Sonia Gandhi’s rally at the venue on Sunday. Modi will address a rally at the same venue on Monday. (IE Photo: Dilip Kagda)

With the sun set at 18:46 hours on Monday, the Mumbai police have asked the advanced security liaison team of the BJP’s prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi to advance his earlier planned helicopter landing at the Mumbai domestic airport from Kalyan at 18:45 hours, by ten minutes.

To ensure that a contingency police protocol for an alternate sunset road travel of 48 km between Kalyan and MMRDA grounds, Bandra Kurla Complex is avoided, the Mumbai police have suggested Modi cut his speech at the Kalyan rally by 15 minutes.

In a contingency weather situation, or if Modi is unable to wrap his speech within the revised time gap, pushing him to take the road, the resulting security cover goes for a domino effect.

The Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) visual flight rules require helicopters to land by sunset and not a minute later. “Modi’s schedule of an extra minute proved to go against aviation rules,” the police said.

Modi will address the combined Shiv Sena and BJP rally at MMRDA grounds, Bandra Kurla Complex.

On route from Agra, the PM candidate is expected to land at the Mumbai airport at 17:00 hours and leave for Kalyan in a private helicopter at 17:10 hours. With the airfield to airfield time taking 20 minutes both ways, Modi’s earlier podium schedule at Kalyan was 60 minutes, according to an official with the Thane police.

The Mumbai police said he would now have to ensure that he left the Kalyan podium 15 minutes before the scheduled time to avoid Mumbai going to a stand still.

Unlike Modi’s chopper schedule, Congress President Sonia Gandhi’s chopper will land directly at the BKC grounds, avoiding all the security details.

“Though its not on his route, we have begun to sanitise the stretch for scarp vehicles. Several scrap dealers leave vehicles unattended in that stretch,” said an officer.

MU denies landing space for Modi

The last time Modi was in town, Satyapal Singh, former Police Commissioner and now a BJP candidate, ensured that his helicopter landed inside Mumbai University. This time, university officials have offered the BJP no such opportunity to put them under pressure by piling rubble on top of its helipad and rendering it unusable, confirmed police officials.

The snub has increased Modi’s travel time to MMRDA grounds in BKC from five to 13 minutes.

During his last rally in December, Modi reached the venue from the University helipad in five minutes. On Monday, his convoy will exit domestic airport’s gate number 8, and pass the university campus in Kalina to BKC.

The University’s unexpected move has required the police to continued…

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