An advanced security and communications team from the United States arrived in Hyderabad on Tuesday to make preparations for President George W Bush's visit to the city on March 3.
An aircraft carrying the team and an array of security and communications equipment landed at the Rajiv Gandhi International airport. The team and the equipment were taken to a five star hotel in nine trucks.
The 150-member team includes officials from the US Secret Service, Federal Bureau of Investigation and commandos, who are part of the President's security set-up. The hotel has virtually been taken over by the team till the completion of the tour.
Another team of protocol officials from the US will arrive in Hyderabad on Wednesday from New Delhi to give finishing touches to the President's itinerary in Hyderabad.
The Andhra Pradesh government has tentatively identified four venues - Indian School of Business at Manikonda, Centre for Cellular and Molecular Biology at Uppal, Acharya N G Ranga Agricultural University at Rajendranagar and Emergency Management & Research Institute (a Satyam Computers- sponsored organisation) - for Bush's visit.
After considering security and other issues, the team will take a final decision.
Bush will be the second US president to visit Hyderabad after Bill Clinton, who visited Hyderabad in March 2000. He is expected to be in the city for about four hours during which the Rajasekhar Reddy government will showcase the state's achievements in the high-tech arena and seek further strengthening of technical cooperation with US companies.
US First Lady Laura Bush will accompany the President on his Hyderabad trip.
The state government, on its part, is closely monitoring Maoist activities and a tight vigil is being maintained in the wake of Islamic fundamentalist groups becoming very active in the state in recent times.
Meanwhile, the Left parties and their frontal organizations, and the Majlis-e-Ittehaadul Muslimeen and other Muslim organizations in the city opposed Bush's to Hyderabad and have announced that they will organize protest programmes in the city.