A day ahead of the visit of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping to Mahabalipuram in Tamil Nadu, daily life in Chennai is expected to take a hit, especially for residents in and around East Coast Road (ECR) and Old Mahabalipuram Road (OMR). The two leaders are set to visit the historical coastal town between October 11 and 13 for the second Sino-Indian informal summit.
Prime Minister Modi will arrive at Chennai airport from New Delhi by a special aircraft on Friday morning, ahead of Xi Jinping. PM Modi will be received by Tamil Nadu Chief Minister E Palaniswami and his cabinet colleagues at the airport.
Chinese Premier Xi Jinping will arrive in Chennai at 1.30 pm on Friday and will head to ITC Grand Chola Hotel in Guindy. Around 4 pm, he will travel to Mahabalipuram, about 50 kilometres from the hotel, and at 5 pm, Prime Minister Modi and the Chinese Premier are expected to visit the four iconic monuments of Mamallapuram. Later that evening, after a high-profile dinner hosted by Modi at Taj Fisherman's Cove Resort, a cultural programme by Kalakshetra has been planned at the venue for the leaders and their retinue.
On Saturday, the leaders will hold an informal meeting at the Fisherman's Cove between their delegations, followed by lunch after which Xi will depart for China at 2 pm.
As part of the security arrangements for the meet, the Chennai Traffic Police have announced major route changes within and on the outskirts of Chennai. While routes have been closed for heavy vehicles on both Friday and Saturday, vehicles moving toward the city will be diverted at Perungalathur via the Maduravoyal Bypass between 12.30 and 2.00 pm on Friday.
For more details on diverted routes, read: Traffic diversions to be in place in and around Chennai for Modi-Xi meet: Full list
Instructions to IT employees
The OMR is considered to be the city’s very first IT hub with some of the most prominent IT parks like Tidel Park, ASV Suntech Park, SP Infocity, Ascendas stage II and more occupying large areas. Ahead of the meeting, the IT employees who work from this side of the city have been asked to walk in early so as to be able to leave from office before the traffic diversions kick in.
A few IT companies have requested their employees to work from home on Friday owing to a limited supply of food at their canteens and the possibility of heavy traffic jams.
Speaking to TNM, Bharanidharan of the IT Welfare Association says, “Employees working in IT companies located between Sholinganlallur and Tidel Park have been asked to come in early for work around 6.30 to 7.00 am so they can leave early by 2.00 pm. The traffic restrictions are also being implemented in the afternoon so this timing should work.”
Police want Sessions court hearings postponed
On Thursday, the Chennai Commissioner of Police wrote to the Principal Sessions Judge of the City Civil Court seeking permission to adjourn cases posted for hearing between October 10 and 12 since "the entire police personnel would be engaged in elaborate bandobast duty".
The CoP said that it would not be feasible to provide for escort of remand prisoners from Central Prison, Puzhal to various sessions courts. The city police have requested that proceedings be conducted without physical production of the accused or by video conferencing. "The police personnel will produce the warrants for adjournment of the cases," said the request.
Some TASMAC outlets to be shut
According to reports, TASMAC shops along the ECR-OMR stretch are expected to be shut for the duration of the heads of states' visit. This is part of the heightened security measures along the stretch that the dignitaries will take in order to reach Mahabalipuram. As many as 19 government-owned liquor stores are expected to be shut in order to avoid public disturbance during the visit.
Fishing ban in 44 hamlets
According to reports, fishing has been banned for four days beginning Thursday, from Kottivakkam to Kadapakkam (beyond Mamallapuram), covering 44 fishing hamlets in all. Security too has been tightened along the coast with a number of patrol vehicles being deployed to monitor the sea. Surfing in the area has been banned since the last week of September, much to the dismay of surfers.