Security officials from the United States,who are here to prepare for Barack Obamas visit,consider the Central Ridge opposite ITC Maurya in Chanakyapuri a threat to the Presidents security. They have now asked the Delhi Police to place machaans (elevated platforms) in the area for commandos and snipers to thwart any attempt to use the Ridge to launch an attack on the high-profile residents of the hotel opposite.
We have already asked the New Delhi Municipal Council to install eight to ten powerful lights on the road facing the jungle so that the commandos can see inside the vegetation. The US security officials fear somebody might use the dense bushes for an RPG attack at the hotel, said a source in the Delhi Police.
The temporary machaans,approximately 30 feet high,will come up within a day or two. The commandos would be given binoculars and satellite phones to report any suspicious activity. There will be several other commandos elsewhere in the ridge, said the source.
The NDMC and forest staff who usually work in the Ridge would not be allowed inside without proper verification. The Delhi Police will also conduct a comprehensive anti-sabotage check of a 500-metre area opposite the hotel before Obama arrives.
Meanwhile,the Delhi Polices security unit and US officials have already taken over ITC Maurya. The local police will also man the outer periphery of the hotel,consisting Panchsheel Marg,Sardar Patel Marg,Malcha Marg market and the nearby state Bhawans.
Sources said that on November 8 and 9 no vehicle would be allowed to stop on Sardar Patel Marg. Traffic personnel will regulate the traffic on this road and no vehicle would be allowed to wait or stop. We might restrict the movement of autos on this road for a few hours when there is any movement. A final decision would be taken in the advanced security liaison meeting in the coming week, said the source.