Complete lockdown of CWG venues, Athletes Village from Wednesday night

Last Updated: Sep 22, 2010, 20:27 PM IST

New Delhi: Commonwealth Games venues and
Athletes Village will have a complete lockdown from midnight
on Wednesday with entry to be allowed only to those carrying valid
passes.

A large number of armed policemen, including
paramilitary personnel, have been deployed across the stadia
and village. Sophisticated gadgets have also been installed at
the stadia.

"The lockdown will start from this midnight," a senior
police official said.

The security has been stepped up across the city after
Sunday`s firing incident at Jama Masjid that injured two
Taiwanese nationals.

Delhi Police, which is the nodal agency for Games
security, have conducted various drills, including anti-
sabotage checks once they take over possession of the venues,
the official said.

Apart from around 80,000 Delhi Police personnel, over
17,500 paramilitary personnel, 3,000 commandos and 100 anti-
sabotage check teams will be deployed across the city.

The army has been asked to be alert.

Concerns were earlier raised about the delay in
handing over venues to security agencies as some quarters felt
that it would hamper the security preparations.

Delhi Police Commissioner Y S Dadwal, however, had
downplayed the delay and said the force was prepared to handle
the security issues related to the sporting extravaganza.

"We know the stadia and surrounding areas. We know the
city very well. So securing them or other areas will not be a
problem," Dadwal had said when asked whether the delay in
completion of Games projects was compromising security
preparedness.

Union Home Minister P Chidambaram also reviewed the
arrangements.

Heli-borne snipers, four-layered security cordon
around Commonwealth Games venues and exclusive lanes for Games
vehicles were among the components of the mammoth security
plan for the event.

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

Air Force will provide surveillance from the skies.
Heli-borne assault teams will also be deployed to thwart any
terror strikes.

"We are closely working with central Intelligence
agencies. The Air Force will be surveying the airspace. We
will have heli-borne snipers patrolling the skies," the
official said.

According to the plan, the venues, Games Village,
practice and parking lots and the Indira Gandhi International
Airport where athletes arrive will have a four-layered
security cordon.

At the outer cordon, the traffic will be stopped and
access controlled. At the middle cordon, security-men will
channelise the spectators to their designated seats while in
the inner cordon, barcode reading of tickets will take place
and spectators` photographs taken.

At the centre would be an exclusion zone which is in
the 30-m-radius of the stadium, where spectators and others
will have to go through door-frame metal detectors and X-ray
scanning besides manual searching.

Mobile Quick Reaction teams will be deployed on the
outer perimeter of the venues besides a close watch through
CCTV surveillance.

The Games village will also have a similar elaborate
security arrangement. The boundary of the village will have a
three metre high perimeter wall, a 1.5-m-high iron grill on
top of it, mobile QRTs and CCTV surveillance system.

Elaborate arrangements are also made for the entry for
athletes and vehicles into the village. After entering the
village following a thorough check, the athletes can freely
move around the residential and dining halls.

For vehicles, the drivers will have to pass through
radio frequency identity checking where the number plates are
checked to see whether are authorised to enter the place.

There is a boom barrier and it will be opened only
after the vehicle clears the radio frequency checking. But if
somebody tries to forcefully enter, there will be a tyre-
killer and even if the vehicle clears it, the road blocker
will block the passage of the vehicle.

At the hotels, there will be "robust" security
arrangements with watch towers, CCTV surveillance and access
control.

"All food prepared and served for Games guests in
hotels will be sorted by security personnel and tasted by food
experts," the official said.

With large number of athletes, officials and tourists
reaching the city for the Games, security at and around the
Indira Gandhi International Airport is also being augmented.
Anti-sabotage teams, commando hit teams and snipers at
rooftop are some of the other components of the security plan
for the safe journey of athletes and other officials.

On the movement of athletes and other officials to the
venues, the official said commandos will be deployed on buses
they travel.

Police has also procured three armoured cars ahead of
the Games and these vehicles will move around the city and
sometimes will be stationed at the venues during the Games.

Each carrying 30 commandos, the armoured vehicles will
be deployed to tackle eventualities like terror strikes.

For the Games, Delhi Police personnel are also being
specially trained in frisking, search operations and screening
baggage through X-ray machines. Special training on enhancing
communication skills and behavioural patterns are also being
imparted.

PTI