India prepares to handover its presidency

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Written by Ada Khan and Kaustav Laskar

Preparations are in full swing in New Delhi for 18th G20 Summit to be held on September 9-10, 2023. Joe Biden, Rishi Sunak, Justin Trudeau, Emmanuel Macron will represent their countries at this intergovernmental forum and will be joined by heads of other countries like Argentina, Australia, Indonesia, Italy, Germany, Turkey, Japan, Saudi Arabia, Spain, UAE, Egypt etc. However, Russian President Vladmir Putin formally announced that he will not be making an appearance and instead, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov will be present, which was confirmed by India Today. It was also reported by The Wire that Chinese President Xi Jinping will not be at the Summit but China will be represented by its Premier Li Qiang.

The Summit is set to take place at the Bharat Mandappam International Exhibition Convention Centre and the Government has taken various measures for a peaceful gathering of the global delegates. Roads are being improved, flyovers beautified, theme-based paintings and street art showcasing the culture, classical dance forms, yoga asanas and tourist spots of India are prominent on various display platforms. Special Commissioner of Police, Traffic, Zone 2, SS Yadav told the Indian Express that heavy, medium and light goods vehicles will not be allowed to enter the city, while vehicles carrying essential commodities and having a valid ‘No Entry Permission’ will be allowed in. He further said interstate buses will be allowed to enter the capital. High security measures include the use of AI cameras, snipers, sniffer dogs and deployment of advanced surveillance aircraft and air defence missiles. Popular shopping destinations such as Khan Market, Connaught Place and many malls will also be closed from the 8th to the 10th. Qutub Minar, Humayun’s Tomb, Red Fort are being illuminated.

All Delhi government and private offices and educational institutions, will remain closed from September 8-10, as per a notification issued by the General Administration Department (GAD) of the Delhi government. Section 144 CrPC takes effect ahead of the G20 Summit. Large gatherings are restricted to ensure safety during this crucial event. As reported by The Times of India, the decisions to cancel the flights have been taken by airlines, mostly because of traffic restrictions due to the G20 Summit. PTI reported that over 50 ambulances with adequate medical staff will be stationed at the main venue, hotels and the airport. It also added that there might be approximately 80 arrivals and 80 departures that may be affected due to these cancellations as they are committed to working closely to minimise inconvenience. “We take immense pride in India’s role as the host of the G20 Summit 2023. Current news on cancellations of flights has no linkage to the parking of aircraft. We have already provided required parking,” DIAL (Delhi International Airport Limited) said in a statement.

The New Delhi summit is slated to witness the biggest participation in the forum’s history.

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