Chennai: While East Coast Road (ECR) will be the cynosure of all eyes for the next few days, arrangements on the Defence Exposition premises at Thiruvidandai are quickly moving towards completion. More than 1,000 workforce and over 200 managerial staff have been doing their jobs round-the-clock for the past one month, said a staff from Expo Events, a company supervising the works at the exhibition.

Currently, about 85 per cent work is over on the exhibition site, the rest would be completed by 12 April, he said. The chief attraction is the seating arrangement being organised on a vacant plot right opposite to the exposition’s main entrance. The tier seating system located quite close to the sea can accommodate 100-200 people and will allow them to watch manoeuvres performed by military tanks.

“The work for building the seating arrangement began six days ago, we are hopeful of completing it by 8 April,” said a person from the events company.

Another personnel working at the site said more than 20 cranes and earth movers have been working at the site to level the ground and lift heavy objects.

Santosh, a crane operator with K G Crane Services, said he has been at the exhibition site for a month now. They have been lifting heavy shed materials, machinery, helicopters, generators.

It is equally tough for the police personnel who have been on duty at the mega event site since 16 March. About 150 police personnel are guarding the road leading to the exposition site right from Tiruvanmiyur. Police personnel from Villupuram, Vellore, Kanchipuram and Tiruvallur are doing their duty in three shifts.

The focus is highest on this road as Prime Minister Narendra Modi is said to visit the exhibition; once he leaves, the situation will turn normal, said a traffic police personnel near the site.

Vadanemmeli, Thiruvidandai and Therkupattu, the villages near the exhibition site, are already under maximum surveillance now, as they are quite close to the mega event venue, said a traffic inspector. CID, CBI, IB personnel have been visiting these villages regularly and collecting details of residents there.

They have been requesting the residents to furnish information about arrival of their relatives also as a part of security measures.

Land opposite the defence expo venue has turned into a site for conducting trials for some of the exhibits. An 8×8 wheel armoured platform (WHAP) that can be used as an ambulance, personnel carrier and recce and support vehicle was busy doing trial rounds. WHAP is developed by Vehicle Research and Development Establishment (VRDE) in Ahmednagar (Maharashtra). ‘We arrived at the spot two days ago; since then we have been busy undertaking trials,’ said a personnel from VRDE.

The journey has been an arduous task for Daljeet Singh and his team who arrived today with ‘Dhanush’ the 155mm artillery gun from Gun Carriage Factory in Jabalpur.

‘We began our journey four days ago: tomorrow onwards we will begin our trials,’ he said. Bridge-laying tank from Heavy Vehicles Factory in Avadi arrived at the venue today to take part in the exposition.


With a couple of exhibits like military tanks halting on ECR, passersby are turning curious. Some of them stop and take photographs on their mobile phones. Some motorists were even seen taking selfies with them.

Helicopters doing manoeuvres near the exposition site are also attracting the attention of travellers on ECR. Many of them are stopping to take a look at them and a good number of them do not hesitate to make videos and photos on their mobile cameras.