LAHORE :Lahore Police along with CTD, special branch and sensitive agencies have finalised arrangements by deputing over 6,000 cops to provide foolproof security cover to the World XI team during its stay in the hotel and travel to and from Gaddafi Stadium for matches to avert any untoward incident.
The first match will be played today (Tuesday) evening at 7pm for which traffic arrangements have also been finalised. The World XI team was escorted from airport to hotel amid tight security. Special commandos in the command of senior officers remained deputed in and around hotel. Snipers were also deputed at the hotel and adjacent buildings.
On Monday evening, the team also visited the stadium for practice. Earlier in the morning, DIG Investigations Sultan Ch briefed 16 teams of Dolphin Squad and four teams of PERU about the security protocols. He also briefed them about the use of special equipment to check suspects. Special mobile phone sets enabled with 4G LTE were also handed over to the cops and they were briefed about the audio-video streaming for the security purpose.
The DIG directed them to enhance patrolling on Jail Road and Ferozpur Road especially. The officer also sensitised special squads about emergency responses. Different situations were also discussed to cope with emergency situation.
Meanwhile, all senior officers and officials from other cities also joined their duties on the routes of cricket teams and at the stadium. Lahore police also conducted massive combing search and sweep operations in and around Gaddafi stadium. Policemen and personnel of sensitive agencies were also deputed in civvies. The security officials were directed not to allow entry of anybody in the stadium without original CNIC.
It is worth-mentioning here that specific routes have been made for the transportation of players from hotel to Gaddafi Stadium and vice versa. City Traffic Police have established alternative routes in order to avoid nuisance of citizens as well as transportation ahead of Pakistan and World XI T20 tournament.
According to traffic plan, Walton Road will be used for going to Cantt and Mughalpura from Kahna and Kot Lakhpat. While the routes will remain open for going to Firdous Market, Hussain Chowk, MM Alam Road, Mini Market, Main Boulevard and Siddique Centre whereas Fawara No.1, Siddique Trade Centre, Pul Nehar and from Jail Road to Qartaba Chowk will also remain open for regular traffic. Citizens would use Peco Road, Maulana Shaukat Ali Road, Canal and Wahdat Road for coming towards Ichhara from Ferozepur Road. City traffic police have also fixed posters on different roads to guide the spectators about parking lots.
According to the plan, FC College Parking had the capacity for 600 cars and 1,500 motorcycles, Liberty Parking for 600 cars and 5,000 motorcycles, LDA Plaza for 200 cars and 2,000 motorcycles, Jam-e-Sherin Park for 300 cars and 2,000 motorcycles, Al-Hamra Complex VIP Parking-II for 150 cars, FIFA Ground VIP Parking-I for 200 cars, 1122 Doongi Ground Officials Parking for 400 cars, H&P College VIP Parking-III had the capacity for 500 cars and 1,000 motorcycles.
The cars fitted with gas cylinders would not be allowed to enter the parking lots. The visitors should carry their original identity cards and tickets so that they could not face any problem. Traffic on Canal Road would be suspended only at the time of the teams’ arrival at Gaddafi Stadium.
DIG Operations Dr Haider said they had divided Gaddafi Stadium in four zones and four-tier security cover would be set up to enter the Gaddafi Stadium. He said that 19 SPs, 45 DSPs and 6,000 officers and officials from Punjab police, Elite Force, Dolphin Force and PRU would perform security duty on the occasion.
IG Punjab Captain ® Arif Nawaz Khan ordered Lahore Police commander to utilise all available resources to make foolproof security arrangements during the visit of World XI to Pakistan. He emphasised to follow the security pattern of last PSL final. He directed the CCPO Lahore to personally chalk out security plan for Lahore series.
He also directed the CCPO Lahore to ensure backup security for the team’s cavalcade when the team departed hotel for the stadium or left the stadium. He asked the CCPO to deploy men in civvies on the route from hotel to stadium and snipers on the buildings and plazas along the route. The IG directed the staff of Safe City Authority to keep vigil on all kinds of activities around the stadium and on the route from hotel to stadium.
Interestingly, the representatives of different offices housed in the Gaddafi Stadium complex were not deputed at the entry points. A citizen just to check the security arrangements entered the complex by introducing himself as an employee of the stadium and by showing an expired office identity card. He was allowed to go inside without frisking him and his vehicle. He suggested the PCB office-bearers should depute representatives of officers at gates or at least they should have list of employees along with their CNIC numbers and pictures to avert any untoward incident.
It would not be irrelevant to mention here that severe traffic jam was witnessed on major roads on Monday as traffic wardens could not divert traffic on alternate routes effectively. The traffic signals also did not work properly. Citizens criticised the law enforcers who failed to maintain the flow of traffic even ahead of matches. They demanded that the traffic flow should be maintained before, during and after matches. They welcomed international team saying the security personnel should also keep in view the respect of general public throughout this activity.