March 29, 2020
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VIP Avenue: It Takes All Sorties

VIP Avenue: It Takes All Sorties
Is there anyway to check the chaos on Delhi roads that results each time the PM steps out of 7, Race Course Road or Sonia Gandhi has to attend a rally? Going by the new VIP movement plan initiated by deputy PM L. K. Advani, relief is in store for Delhiites. Last month the deputy PM’s motorcade held up traffic in east Delhi for hours together and many students reached late for their board exams. This was followed by a public outcry against VIP movement, which at times holds up traffic for up to two hours.

Now, the exams have been rescheduled and starting March 31, Advani has been using a chopper to ferry him across the National Capital Region. The first of his chopper journeys was to Ghitorni on Delhi-Gurgaon road that houses the Special Security Bureau (SSB) headquarters. Advani was to attend a function at the ssb and he took care not to offend motorists on this busy highway. He boarded a chopper from Safdarjung airport, barely a kilometre away from his Prithviraj Road bungalow. The government is now considering providing chopper facilities to Prime Minister A.B. Vajpayee and leader of the Opposition Sonia Gandhi.

Not just the common Delhiite, even the cops who are pressed into service three hours before any VIP movement can heave a sigh of relief. On an average, over 600 uniformed men are set aside for "VIP movement". Interestingly, it was the Delhi Police which had mooted the idea of ferrying VIPs in choppers in 1996. For some reason, the government didn’t find it "safe enough" then. But now that Advani himself has started employing it, the buzz is all the other vips will follow suit. "It makes a lot of sense for the VIPs to use the air route not just because people are inconvenienced when they’re on the roads, but also because sterilising the roads is not a foolproof method," says Delhi police commissioner Nikhil Kumar.

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