New Delhi Comes to a Standstill Ahead of G20 Summit
The bustling central business and government district of New Delhi came to a grinding halt ahead of the highly-anticipated G20 summit, as markets shuttered, schools closed, and traffic restrictions were put in place. Tens of thousands of security personnel were deployed across the city, with nearly 130,000 police and paramilitary security personnel concentrated in the New Delhi district.
The city authorities left no stone unturned to ensure the security of the event. Measures such as demolishing slums near the summit venue, scaring away monkeys, and removing stray dogs were implemented. These security precautions aimed to create a safe and secure environment for the world leaders and their teams attending the summit.
The impact of these stringent measures was felt by the traders in the popular areas of Connaught Place and Khan Market, as stores and restaurants were forced to close. It is estimated that these closures have resulted in a loss of 4 billion rupees ($48 million) for the traders.
Among the high-profile attendees at the summit are U.S. President Joe Biden, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz, French President Emmanuel Macron, Saudi Arabia’s Mohammed Bin Salman, and Japan’s Fumio Kishida, among others. These leaders and their teams are enjoying their stay in the luxurious hotels scattered around the city, while the summit itself is taking place at a newly-built venue near the Supreme Court.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi urged Delhi residents to bear with the inconvenience caused by the summit restrictions, emphasizing that most parts of the city remain open. However, offices, schools, shops, and small businesses have been asked to close, and taxis, buses, and app-based services are not allowed in the restricted area.
In the old city’s bazaars, it remains unclear if the restrictions will be extended, as many shops were closed on Friday. The Delhi Police has been proactive in communicating with the public, publishing daily newspaper advertisements with traffic advisories and route maps, while also highlighting India’s pride in hosting the 18th G-20 Summit.
As the G20 summit progresses, it is expected that the inconvenience faced by the citizens will be outweighed by the potential economic benefits and global recognition gained by India’s successful hosting of this prestigious event.
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