President to arrive in Meghalaya tomorrow

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Shillong, Oct 21 (UNI) Security has been beefed up across Meghalaya in view of President Pratibha Patil's maiden two-day visit to the state tomorrow.

She will be arriving here from Assam by a special Indian Air Force MI-17 helicopter.

State's Director General of Police B K Dey Sawian assured that all security arrangements had been made to avoid any untoward incident.

The state government has asked for three additional central parmilitary forces to assist the state police during the President's visit.

''We are abiding by provisions of security needs and protocol for the President's visit as per the blue book. The security arrangements are primarily officer-oriented,'' Mr Sawian said.

Chief Minister Donkupar Roy and his cabinet colleagues will receive her at the Advanced Landing Ground in Upper Shillong where she will be given guard of honour.

Ms Patil will proceed to Mawphlang to inaugurate and lay the foundation stone of the 3rd phase of the Greater Shillong Water Supply Scheme.

Meghalaya Governor R S Mooshahary, Chief Minister Dr Donkupar and his cabinet colleagues will call on her at the Raj Bhawan. In the evening, she will meet a gathering of Padma awardees and women's groups and their leaders.

On Thursday morning Ms Patil leaves for Tura in the West Garo Hills district, where she would attend a civic function at the MP stadium organized by the Mothers' Union. She is scheduled to inaugurate the Baljek Airport near Tura before she returns to Shillong.

Baljek is the first airport in Garo Hills and the second in the state after Umroi in East Khasi Hills.

Ms Patil will be the second President to visit Garo Hills after late President Dr Rajendra Prasad had visited the area in 1952.

In the same evening, she will attend the centenary celebration of the Laban Bengalee Girls' Higher Secondary School. She will halt at Raj Bhawan for the night and emplane for Delhi the next morning.

Meanwhile, Shillong and Tura, the district headquarter's of West Garo Hills are getting a facelift and cleaning of the city's thoroughfares is in full swing before the arrival of the President.

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