U-17 World Cup final venue can be evacuated in only 8 minutes in emergency

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Kolkata, Oct 4: The 66,000 capacity Vivekananda Yuva Bharati Krirangan, which is slated to host 10 Under-17 football World Cup matches, including the October 28 final, can be evacuated in only eight minutes in case of any emergency, the police said here on Wednesday. "We have prepared a detailed evacuation plan. The entire stadium even if full to the brim, can be evacuated safely and smoothly in only eight minutes in emergency situations," Bidhannagar Police Commissioner Gyanwant Singh said here. Gyanwant Singh said though there was no threat perception, the police have laid down a stringent security plan at the venue -- also called the Salt Lake Stadium -- "in view of the global situation". "We don't want to take any risk in view of the global situation. So we have prepared for all crisis situations. The emergency evacuation plan we have formulated will ensure there is no stampede," he said. The top police officer said spectators would not be allowed to carry anything apart from their mobile phones, while women could additionally carry a purse, but after it is checked. "Except the mobile phones, and the purses in case of women, nothing else will be allowed. Water bottles, newspapers, bags, nothing will be allowed. We won't allow anything that can be used as missile," he said. He said the police would act tough in case any racial comment or abuse is hurled by the spectators in the stadium. "The stewards deployed in the blocks would initially try to dissuade the offenders. But if their please fail, then the police will step in and act tough," he said. With several thousand foreigners slated to fly into the city for the matches, especially the final, the police have made arrangements at the NSC Bose International Airport, as also the various shopping malls, which they are likely to frequent, to help them. If they face any problems,we are there". Apart from hosting the ten matches, Kolkata has been designated as the FIFA headquarters for the tournament, with over 60 officials of the world's highest soccer body putting up at Hyatt Regency. The city would also function as the referees hub. While 40 referees from across the globe would be stationed here, the city would also accommodate 80 trainee referees. A total of 3000 police personnel -- including 35 officers of superintendent of police and additional superintendent of police rank, and 60 lower ranked officers - would be on duty during the match days. Gyanwant Singh said 110 door frame metal detectors would be installed as checking points, with 260 closed circuit TVs positioned at all nook and corner of the stadium to keep vigil. The doors of the stadium would be opened two hours prior to the start of the day's first match. "All spectators will be frisked. We have calculated that we will need about two hours to frisk 66 thousand spectators," he said. All tickets would also be scanned. "Our emphasis will be on providing good service so that people can easily enter and leave and don't feel harassed," he said. Arrangements have been made for parking 2,600 cars.