Odisha’s Steel City all agog ahead of ‘Clash of Titans’

Reported by Malay Ray
Rourkela, Mar 31:

Rourkela had never seen anything like this before: the Prime Minister and the Chief Minister descending on the Steel City of Odisha on the same day.

Union Minister Jual Oram and SAIL Chairman RS Verma taking stock of arrangements at the venue where Prime Minister Narendra Modi is scheduled to adress a public meeting on Wdnesday
Union Minister Jual Oram and SAIL Chairman RS Verma taking stock of arrangements at the venue where Prime Minister Narendra Modi is scheduled to adress a public meeting on Wdnesday

With barely hours to go before what is being billed as the Clash of Titans, those in charge of security, traffic and crowd control are on their toes.

The whole city is swarming with security personnel manning all vantage points. All the routes through which the cavalcade of Prime Minister would pass are under continuous surveillance while mobile jammers have been installed at the meeting venue near the airstrip. The Ring Road through which Modi would go to Rourkela Steel Plant (RSP) has been completely sanitised.

35 platoons of police force, alongwith 15 DSPs, 30 Inspectors, 100 Sub Inspectors and ASLs have been deployed in the city and area domination operation in Maoist hit border pockets of Sundargarh is in process, according to sources in the police. Advance Security Liaison (ASL) of different security agencies has been completed.

According to sources, a team from the Special Protection Group(SPG), led by DIG P.Darji Lahatoo and two Assistant Inspectors  General, has taken charge of the security of the inner circle of the Prime Minister’s meeting venue at Rourkela Aerodrome Ground while Odisha police, DVF, CRPF and CISF will look afterthe outer circle.

Top honchos of Odisha police have arrived in the city to supervise security arrangements for the twin VVIP visit. Director (Intelligence) Sunil Roy and Additional Director General (Law & Order) Binayanand Jha, alongwith R.K.Sharma, Inspector General of Police (Western Range), Rourkela  Superintendent of Police  Anirudh Singh, Sundargarh Superintendent of Police R.Prakash are monitoring security arrangements.

Elaborate arrangements have been made to regulate traffic during the visit of the two dignitaries. According to Rourkela DIPRO Jaidev Panigrahi, all heavy vehicles including buses coming to the meeting venue  would be parked at the nearby Sector-13 ground.

All two-wheelers, three wheelers and four-wheelers would go on the OMFED plant route and park their vehicles in the vacant space on the other side of the guard wall of the meeting ground.The road connecting Rourkela Aerodrome and Space Square would remain closed for public use during the visit, Panigrahi said.

As per the schedule, Prime Minister Narendra Modi will arrive at Rourkela Airstrip at 11.45 am and will go staright to Rourkela Steel Plant through Chhend, Power House road. After dedicating the new and modernised plant to nation at RSP, he will come back  to the Aerodrum field and address the gathering from 12 noon to 1 pm and will return to New Delhi at around 1.25 pm.

As security personnel are busy plugging any possible seecurity loophole, the politics of one-up-manship is playing out with full vigour with large cut outs, posters and banners of Modi and Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik jostling for space on the streets of the Steel City.

The BJP has left no stone unturned to take maximum political capitakl out of the Prime Ministerial visit. Roadside trees have been painted in white and saffron colour while flex banners of Modi adorn both sides of the streets all aling the Ring Road.

According to sources, four lakh ladoos are being prepared by BJP for the crowd of around one lakh people that is expected to turn up to listen to the Prime Minister.

On the other hand, Rourkela BJD is also upbeat over Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik’s visit here on Wednesday. A number of hoardings of  Naveen Patnaik have been put up at different places in city. Apart from being with Prime Minister during his proramme here, Patnaik is expected to launch two projects including the ‘Aahaar’ scheme.

“During the visit of Prime Minister here on Wednesday, we have requested public to cooperate us.” Said B.S.Punia, Collector, Sundargarh.

Prime Minister will dedicate the new and modernized Plant at RSP to nation.Under this current modernization and expansion (Modex) programme at SAIL, RSP has completed the present phase of Modex and operationalized the new integrated steel making facilities with an investment of Rs 12,000 Crores.


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