Delhi under thick security cover ahead of CWG opening ceremony

Thousands of armed security personnel were on their toes today securing the capital for the Commonwealth Games as helicopters patrolled the skies and Unmanned Aerial Vehicles scanned the ground.

Last Updated: Oct 03, 2010, 10:54 AM IST

New Delhi: Thousands of armed security personnel were on their toes today securing the capital for the Commonwealth Games as helicopters patrolled the skies and Unmanned Aerial Vehicles scanned the ground.

A virtual security fortress ahead of the opening of the sporting event, Delhi was full of snipers, commandos on `Light Armoured Troops Carrier` (LATC) and specially trained
men from paramilitary personnel along with Delhi Police personnel.

Round the clock, personnel at the sophisticated C4i control room at the Police Headquarters here rummaged through live feeds from over 3,000 CCTVs installed across the city ensuring that nothing escaped their eyes.

A "multi-layered, multi-dimensional" security blanket, as City Police Commissioner YS Dadwal put it, was thrown around the city with police vans surveying the nook and
corner of the capital.

The security plan prepared for the mega event, which will see participation of 8,500 athletes from 71 countries competing in 17 events, also envisages expert groups to tackle
chemical, biological, radio-active or nuclear attacks.

Armed personnel have also been deployed across 41 Games related infrastructure, including 12 competition venues, while heliborne-snipers of the Air Force provided air cover to thwart any terror attack like the 9/11 strikes in the US.

"This is a security arrangement which has been laid down after considerable thought, re-thought, examination and re-examination looking for loopholes. It is a multi-layered,
multi-dimensional arrangement," Dadwal said.

"We have a higher security matrix for the Games compared to other events held in the city," he said noting that there were no specific inputs about any terrorist attack
on the Games but the police were keeping a strict vigil.

Delhi Police`s 28,387 personnel have been deployed at Games venues along with 195 companies (around 20,000 men) of paramilitary personnel while another 15,000 guarded the nearby localities of the venues.

Police has already announced that security restrictions is applied to each and every visitor and no one can expect any relaxation or exception citing the example of
Union Home Minister P Chidambaram undergoing security checks.

A four-layered security cordon has been drawn for various venues spread across the city. Only those with accreditation cards and tickets will be allowed inside
stadias.

At the Central Secretariat station, Sreedharan and other officials took part in a `havan` before taking a ride on the train.

The line is expected to be further extended up to Badarpur from Sarita Vihar in about 10 days time.

With its inauguration, the total operational Metro network expands to 153 kilometres with 130 Metro Stations and the travel time from Central Secretariat to Sarita Vihar will
be approximately 26 minutes.

Central Secretariat has now become one of the biggest interchange Metro stations with both Standard and Broad gauge lines merging here.

PTI