Sahim Salim in New Delhi
United States President Barack Obama's two-day stay in Delhi will be a boon for New Delhi's luxury hotels, depending on who bears his contingent's bills.
Obama will be staying in the presidential suite of Maurya Hotel in Dhaula Kuan on November 7 and 8.
His security staff has booked all 440 rooms of the hotel from November 5 till the president's departure.
In addition, official sources say, more rooms have been booked in other luxury hotels, including the neighbouring Taj Hotel.
An estimated 760 rooms have been booked
An estimated 760 rooms have been booked by the President's contingent and Indian authorities receiving him in Maurya, Taj, The Ashok and Intercontinental hotels.
Official estimates suggest during Obama's maiden visit to the capital, the combined cost of Indian and White House officials will be about Rs 15 lakh per hour.
Just his two-day stay at Maurya will cost anywhere between Rs 1.2 crore and Rs 1.8 crore per day.
Obama will bring with him the largest ever contingent
"More than 760 rooms have been booked in leading luxury hotels in the capital. While his security personnel, including the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Central Intelligence Agency will stay at the Maurya, where he stays, the others will take up the remaining accommodation," he added.
The security detail
The officer said that the Delhi Police has mobilised a 5000-strong force to be used exclusively used for Obama's visit.
Several companies of paramilitary forces have also been kept on stand-by.
"There will be multiple rings of security at Maurya hotel. While the US security officers will guard the innermost ring, the Delhi Police is responsible for the outermost ring. The paramilitary will be stationed in between," the officer said.
"In addition, snipers from both the US and India will be stationed on nearby rooftops and an aerial surveillance will be mounted with night-vision equipment to make sure that nothing untoward happens," the officer added.
Obama's staff have expressed interest in visiting Delhi markets
During his stay, vehicles will not be allowed on any of the routes he might take.
The routes itself will have a four-tier security, with a 'no-fly' zone.
No outside guests will be allowed at hotels where he and his staff are putting up. Rajghat will be off-limits for visitors when he will make his visit there on morning of November 8 to pay his respects to Mahatma Gandhi.
"We are stepping up security and surveillance at various Delhi markets as some members of Obama's staff have expressed interest in visiting them. 15 markets, including Sarojini Nagar and Lajpat Nagar, will see beefed up security," a senior police official said.