New Delhi, Oct 14 (IANS) Delhi virtually shut down Thursday ahead of the Commonwealth Games closing ceremony, with government offices, banks and major markets closed for the day. The Jawaharlal Nehru stadium, the venue for the event, is swarming with thousands of security personnel.
The day resembled a holiday with most streets wearing a deserted look.
Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa will be chief guest at the closing ceremony. Giving him company will be Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and ruling United Progressive Alliance chairperson Sonia Gandhi.
Around 60,000 spectators are expected to attend the event, that will start at 7 p.m. and end 9.30 p.m.
Around 7,500 security personnel have been deployed at the JN stadium.
"A multi-layered security arrangement is in place for the closing ceremony, similar to the opening event," Rajan Bhagat, spokesperson Delhi Police, told reporters.
Spectators will be put through manual and mechanical security checks at four points at the stadium, while Indian Air Force choppers will survey the skies. The stadium has 19 entry points where card readers, door frame metal detectors and X-Ray baggage machines have been installed. Mobile quick reaction teams have also been deployed on the outer perimeter of the stadium.
Several high-tech security equipments, including devices to check CBNR (chemical, biological, nuclear and radiological) assaults have been put in place. Delhi Police Commissioner Y.S. Dadwal reviewed the security arrangements at a meeting with senior officials.
Delhi Police has also deployed snipers, commandos on Light Armoured Troops Carrier (LATC) and specially trained men from paramilitary personnel along with Delhi Police personnel at the Games venues. Unmanned Aerial Vehicles are also in place to scan the ground.
For the Oct 3 opening ceremony, Delhi Police had deployed 28,387 personnel at Games venues, along with around 20,000 personnel of paramilitary forces. Another 15,000 personnel guarded areas near the Games venues. About 50,000 Delhi Police personnel were also on general security duty with a focus on the Games since Oct 3, official sources said.
Schools, colleges and hostels have been already closed during the 12-day Games period.
Road traffic was restricted on routes near Rajpath, Parliament Street, Janpath, Connaught Place and around the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium.