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Tuesday, Aug 26, 2003

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Visitors' entry banned at airport

Our Bureau

Mumbai , Aug. 25

THE entry of visitors to the domestic and international terminals at the Chhatrapati Shivaji airport here has been banned following the twin bomb explosions that rocked the city this morning.

According to Mr Sudhir Kumar, Director, Airports Authority of India (AAI), the situation will be reviewed again on Tuesday. He said that there had been no disruption in services following the blasts and the public had been asked to remain alert.

Meanwhile, in the central business district of Nariman Point, most offices were functioning. However, some offices wound up early, allowing staff to head home earlier than usual. Employees in the Yogakshema Building of Life Insurance Corporation of India (LIC), for instance, were allowed to leave at 4:30 p.m. ahead of the regular time of 5:45 p.m.

A notice on the glass façade of the LIC building read, "In view of the threat perception there will be heightened security measures in the Yogakshema Building. All visitors are asked to produce their identity cards on entering the building.''

Security in several offices was stepped up, and visitors were prohibited from entering the main office of the State Bank of India although the office was functioning. All the bank branches were functional with business as usual.

Meanwhile, Mr Anand Mahindra, President of the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII), has condemned the bomb blasts. In a statement, he expressed distress at the explosions and conveyed sympathies on behalf of the CII to those bereaved and injured.

Mr Firdose A. Vandrevala, Chairman, CII, Western Region, said that it was unfortunate that Mumbai City had witnessed the explosions, but expressed confidence in the resilience of Mumbaikers and the Indian economy, and said it would be "business as usual" in Mumbai and "the explosions would not have any impact in the long run".

Among the functions postponed due to the bomb blasts are the press conferences of Infosys Technologies and Orient Information Technology, which were scheduled for Tuesday.

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