From The Economic Times of India:
Barack and Michelle's Mumbai darshan plans
Adding to the Obamas’ busy schedule is Michelle’s likely visit to Kamathipura, where she will meet commercial sex workers on the invitation of an NGO. The highprofile visit is likely to inconvenience the citizens, as there could be a complete clampdown on traffic on some main roads of south Mumbai and sanitisation of buildings flanking them.
The Obamas will stay at the Taj Mahal Hotel, and his itinerary practically means Marine Drive will be shut for vehicular traffic on the day of the President’s visit, while buildings flanking it will be sanitised with security personnel manning them until Obama has left the place. Same would be the case with Obama’s visit to Mani Bhawan and Michelle going to Kamathipura.
An officer with the security establishment said, “Several other arterial roads in south Mumbai will also see restricted traffic movement, with tight security all around. The Obamas are not expected to schedule any engagements in the night due to security reasons.”
Since Obama is expected to arrive in the afternoon on November 6, and will travel by road to the Taj Mahal Hotel, the entire stretch from airport to the hotel will be under heavy security. The officer said, “There will be no vehicular movement on Western Express Highway at that time. Traffic on roads leading up to the highway will also be stopped. All buildings flanking the entire stretch will be sanitised. However, there is no threat from the snipers as the President will travel in a bullet-proof car with 4.5-inch thick sheets, which are impenetrable for any gun.”
Obama’s personal security staff itself will be huge, and it has already started making its own arrangements in Mumbai. “A team of secret service agents has already arrived, and has surveyed the areas of his stay and the roads and places on his itinerary,” the officer said.
To ensure fool-proof security, the President’s team has booked the entire the Taj Mahal Hotel, including 570 rooms, all banquets and restaurants. Since his security contingent and staff will comprise a huge number, 125 rooms at Taj President have also been booked, apart from 80 to 90 rooms each in Grand Hyatt and The Oberoi hotels. The NCPA, where the President is expected to meet representatives from the business community, has also been entirely booked.
The officer said, “Obama’s contingent is huge. There are two jumbo jets coming along with Air Force One, which will be flanked by security jets. There will be 30 to 40 secret service agents, who will arrive before him. The President’s convoy has 45 cars, including the Lincoln Continental in which the President travels.”
Since Obama will stay in a hotel that is on sea front, elaborate coastal security arrangements have been made by the US Navy in consonance with the Indian Navy and the Coast Guard. “There will be US naval ships, along with Indian vessels , patrolling the sea till about 330-km from the shore. This is to negate the possibility of a missile being fired from a distance,” the officer said.
The President will be accompanied by his chefs, not because he would not like to savour Indian cuisine, but to ensure his food is not spiked.
US President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama are scheduled to land in Mumbai on November 6.
End of newspaper article
Why exactly are they visiting? There must be a reason other than Michelle Obama visiting the prostitutes?
Or, maybe they're looking for opportunities to send more US jobs over there ... or perhaps to learn a few lessons about austerity .
And if 750 rooms at the Taj Mahal are not enough, 125 rooms at the Taj President in Cuffe Parade and 80-90 rooms in ITC Grand Hyatt have been booked for Obama’s entourage. Maybe the US is moving to India and it hasn't filtered down to we, the people, yet.
This trip is a little more upscale than Michelle's little jaunt to Spain. Haven't they heard of conference calls? You don't want your president to book a Motel 6, but is unseemly.
The stated purpose is an economic summit. It seems a tad late for that, not to mention a little over the top for such an occasion. And, India?
The build-up to President Obama's visit is not going smoothly at all, says a former Indian ambassador to the United States. He thinks, "If not handled well, it can turn directionless." Directionless? I would say that's the understatement of this young century. It could turn a lot worse than directionless.
Aside from the obvious, it seems to me there is something foreboding about this trip beside getting out of Dodge. The timing seems incredibly gauche, immediately after our elections, and after all those staff resignations ... Didn't he get the memo about the dire straits this country is in?
My red light went on the second I heard about this. The rumor from the Webbot report is that some sort of 'tipping point' is due here in the USofA a few days after the election of our time. Does he know something we don't know?
I think we're about to become aware of something. We're gonna be told something, shown something, or realize something. Something really big and breaking. Something is happening behind the scenes, and I don't think it's something very good for us Americans.
Of course, then there's this from Ulsterman, an anonymous insider: