Donald Trump visit: Roads leading to ITC Maurya fortified, hotel put under heavy security cover

Kusum Tewari

Trump, who is accompanied by his wife Melania, daughter Ivanka and son-in-law Jared Kushner and a host of senior officials of the US administration, is expected to check-in at the hotel on Monday evening.

The entry and exit to the hotel is being strictly monitored by security agencies and it has not taken any bookings till Trump is in Delhi.

Indian security agencies are also working in close coordination with the US Secret Service, officials said.

Apart from anti-drone detachment of NSG, snipers, kite catchers, canine units, and Parakram vans have also been deployed along the routes and areas in and around the hotel where Trump will be staying, they said.

Police personnel from six districts have been deployed for the security arrangements and nearly 40 companies of Central Armed Police Forces have been pressed into action.

Hundreds of high-definition CCTV cameras with night vision have been installed across the Sardar Patel Marg where hotel ITC Maurya is located to monitor the situation round-the-clock, the officials said.

Five years ago, when Trump’s predecessor Barack Obama visited the national capital, the Delhi Police had rented 605 CCTV cameras and spent more than one crore in hiring, installing and later removing them.

In view of the spiralling tensions between Iran and the US, there is a higher security threat this time and the agencies are more “cautious and alert” than ever, sources said.

A senior police officer said, “We have also requested the anti-sabotage checking teams from the paramilitary and the Army. They have been regularly conducting anti-sabotage checks along every route to be taken by the US President during his visit here”.

Besides the multi-layer security cover, elaborate arrangements have been made by the Delhi Police, including placement of double barricading on all the roads where Trump’s convoy is likely to pass, officials said, adding that aerial surveillance of the route will also be conducted as part of the security measures.

Jersey barriers (modular concrete or plastic barriers placed to organise traffic into lanes) will also be put up on the route, a senior police official said.

Delhi Police is also working in close coordination with civic bodies.

The route leading to a Delhi government school where US first lady Melania Trump is scheduled to pay a visit will also be under a high security cover, according to officials.

Trees have been trimmed according to the directions of the security agencies as part of the protocol.

Meetings have also been held with US security agents on the elaborate security arrangements in place.

At the ITC Maurya, a three-layer security has been put in place.

The hotel, located in Diplomatic Enclave in Chanakyapuri, has police personnel in plain clothes patrolling every floor.

Delhi Police’s security wing personnel are part of the inner cordon that is working in close coordination with the United States Secret Service.

The security wing of the Delhi Police is a specialised unit tasked with the security of VIPs and visiting foreign dignitaries.

The second layer of security has been deployed around the hotel’s lobby area, parking, lawn area and the pool area, while the third one comprises police personnel from the district police.

There is a large stretch of green ridge area opposite the hotel and security personnel have been deployed there as well.

Even at the neighbouring Taj Palace hotel, security personnel are maintaining a tight vigil.

The floor where the Grand Presidential Suite is located at the ITC Maurya is out of bounds for most hotel staff owing to the elaborate security arrangements.

Sources said security arrangements at the hotel have been underway for the last two weeks with NSG commandos and Delhi Police personnel surveying every floor on a daily basis. Officials from the US embassy are also monitoring the preparations with all details being kept under wraps.

The sources added that the hotel will be out of bounds for other guests during the time Trump and his entourage will be there, and all the 438 rooms of the five-star property have been booked.

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