KUALA LUMPUR: A total of 18 roads surrounding Dataran Merdeka will be temporarily closed from today until Monday (Aug 31) to make way for Merdeka preparations and celebrations. City traffic police chief ACP Mohd Nadzri Hussain advised the public that the roads will be closed at 6am daily and are expected to reopen in stages by noon each day. He said Dataran Merdeka is closed to the public prior to National Day to facilitate those rehearsing and preparing for the celebrations. "Only those on duty on National Day will be allowed to be stationed at Dataran Merdeka through Bulatan Dato Onn - Jalan Gereja and park their vehicles in the underground parking lot. "They need to prepare appropriate car stickers to enter Dataran Merdeka," he said. The roads affected are: » Jalan Travers/Jalan Damansara (Muzium Negara); Jalan Mahameru/Jalan Damansara (Carcosa); Jalan Mahameru/Jalan Damansara (Muzium Negara ramp); » Bulatan Hishamuddin/Jalan Lembah (Masjid Negara); Jalan Perdana/Jalan Lembah; Jalan Kinabalu/Bulatan Hishamuddin (Dayabumi); Jalan Kinabalu/Jalan Hishamuddin (Susur Bukit Aman); » Jalan Lembah/Jalan Cenderasari; Leboh Pasar Besar/Jalan Hang Kasturi; Leboh Ampang/Jalan Tun Perak; Jalan Dang Wangi/Jalan Tuanku Abdul Rahman; » Jalan Kuching/Bulatan Dato Onn; Jalan Kinabalu/Bulatan Dato Onn; Jalan Tuanku Abdul Rahman/Jalan Raja (Dataran Merdeka); Jalan Hishamuddin/Jalan Raja (Dataran Merdeka); » Jalan Parlimen/Bulatan Dato Onn (Dewan Bandaraya Kuala Lumpur); Jalan Dato Onn/Jalan Raja (Kelab Diraja Selangor) and Jalan Mahkamah Persekutuan. Nadzri said exceptions will be made for VVIPs, VIPs, ambassadors and those with an official invitation to attend the celebrations. Meanwhile, buses will be allowed to drop off and fetch participants near Dataran Merdeka but drivers are required to use the designated routes. "We will allow the buses to drop off participants at Dataran Merdeka until 7am, but after that participants will have to be dropped off outside the cordoned areas," he said. He also pointed out that that bus drivers need to get permission from the traffic officials in charge for any plans to fetch the participants from Dataran Merdeka. "Forty officers will be on duty at Dataran during rehearsals and more than 70 officers will be working on National Day celebrations. "Stern action will be taken, including issuing summonses, against individuals who park at the cordoned areas and obstruct traffic," he added. About 7,000 people are expected to participate in the National Day celebrations.