A mistake during the route rehearsal for players’ return from Cuttack after the T20 clash created a flutter of sorts in the police circles.
The incident was reported during a mock drill on Saturday, conducted to ensure safe return of the players of both India and South Africa. As the police vans approached Rasulgarh (entrance to Bhubaneswar from the Cuttack side), the advance pilot van surprisingly climbed the wrong side of the flyover, leaving senior police officers fuming.
It came as a surprise for many, as the movement of the cavalcade over Rasulgarh flyover was not in the original route plan during the return journey of players. The reason is attributed to the ongoing construction of the flyover’s one side (which can be used for commuters coming from Cuttack). The other side of the over-bridge (from Bhubaneswar to Cuttack) was recently thrown open for public use.
“Since the flyover work is incomplete, we are scheduled to take the players via the approach road along the Rasulgarh flyover, during their return from Cuttack. We were shocked to find the advanced pilot van taking the wrong route and climbing the flyover’s wrong side. We had no other option, but to follow the van. Vehicles coming from Vani Vihar towards Cuttack were asked to halt on the side to ensure our smooth passage,” said a police officer, who was part of the rehearsal.
Two luxurious buses, to be used for the players, were a part of the rehearsal. Police personnel, deployed along the approach road below the flyover to regulate traffic, were also confused.
Despite repeated attempts, DCP Satyabrata Bhoi, who was entrusted to supervise the mock drill, could not be contacted for comment. Some police officers defended the lapse. “At times, we change routes depending on traffic congestions. It is part of the rehearsal,” a senior police officer said.
Official sources said commissioner of police R P Sharma warned the cops of action if any blooper crops up on Monday when the two countries battle it out at Barabati. The players, who went to Cuttack for net practice on Sunday, returned through the approach road along Rasulgarh flyover