Curtain Raiser | Kashmir all geared up to host G20 meet

Adequate security measures in place, stakeholders upbeat
The rehearsals have been going on non-stop for the past three weeks.
The rehearsals have been going on non-stop for the past three weeks.Mubashir Khan for Greater Kashmir

Srinagar: The civil and Police administration is busy making final preparations for the G20 event to take place in Kashmir to ensure that the event is a great success and goes off without a hitch.

The proposed itinerary for international delegates includes local sightseeing and a Shikara ride on the waters of Dal Lake in Srinagar.

The meetings with the delegates are planned at the SKICC.

Over 180 people, including international delegations and selected Indian officials, majority of them would stay at Srinagar’s Taj Vivanta and Lalit Grand Palace.

Artists from Jammu and Kashmir would showcase their programmes before the delegates.

The rehearsals have been going on non-stop for the past three weeks.

3-tier security arrangements in place

Extensive security measures are in place throughout Kashmir to guarantee that activities go ahead peacefully.

Ahead of the G20 meeting in Srinagar, which is scheduled from May 22 to May 24, paramilitary CRPF’s Water Wing and Quick Action Team (QAT) conducted a joint mock drill on the waters of Dal Lake on Saturday.

CRPF Commandos on Friday also conducted a special drill in Dal Lake as part of security preparedness.

Marine Commandos (MORCOS) also conducted similar security drills in the lake.

The G20 summit in Kashmir will be held at Sher-e-Kashmir International Conference Centre (SKICC) on the banks of Dal Lake.

India assumed the presidency of the G20 grouping on December 1, 2022, and would hold the post for a year.

J&K Police, Army, paramilitary BSF and CRPF, Sashastra Seema Bal, and Marine Commandos are all included in the security grid amid threats that terrorists may attempt to disrupt the G20 summit in Kashmir.

The SKICC, the location of the G20 meeting, is now being guarded by Marines.

In conjunction with law enforcement and paramilitary forces, NSG commandos have been practising area dominance.

“An estimated 1000 CCTVs are being placed, and all major thoroughfares in the city and its environs are under constant watch,” a senior Police official said.

To fit the idea, old bunkers have been transformed into smart bunkers.

To guarantee the success of the G20 meeting in Kashmir, the NSG and other troops are continuously performing drills.

Director General of Police (DGP) Dilbag Singh gave the order to the Police force to strengthen patrols and night dominance to guarantee a calm environment in Kashmir.

The SKICC would host the third G20 Tourism Working Group meeting from May 22 to 24.

In February, the inaugural G20 Tourism Working Group meeting was held at Rann of Kutch in Gujarat while the second meeting was held in Siliguri, West Bengal from April 1 to 3.

Srinagar decorated like a bride

The walls along the roads leading to the SKICC, where the world delegates are scheduled to gather, are being painted like a bride to offer visiting delegates a flavour of Kashmir’s culture ahead of the G20 conference in Kashmir.

The exterior walls of Bakshi Stadium are being turned into a dazzling exhibition of art as part of the Smart City initiative.

Artists have created breathtaking images of sports figures, bringing colour and meaning to the stadium. The images showcase famous athletes’ enthusiasm and exploits, immortalising their legacy in brilliant colours.

Road reconstruction and maintenance, as well as hood installation and other construction works, are being completed at a rapid speed.

The Department of Tourism, Kashmir, has also taken other important measures to ensure that this summit is unforgettable.

For the first time, work is also being done to adorn the bunkers located from Srinagar International Airport to SKICC from the outside.

“We have hired artists to paint murals on the walls at key intersections. It gives a sense of vibrancy while also showcasing our unique art and culture,” said a senior government official.

Hope for Corporate Growth

The G20 summit has boosted confidence among the tourism stakeholders in Kashmir, who hope for the removal of travel advisories by the European countries.

After the G20, Kashmir Inc intends to host an exhibition in Srinagar and welcome visitors from these nations to support government efforts to instill a positive vibe and promote Kashmir as a whole.

“Perhaps we may have another show in Kashmir later. We will welcome guests from G20 nations. The show will be an excellent opportunity to promote Kashmir and foster a positive vibe because there are advisories and fewer people are travelling,” President Kashmir Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KCCI) Javaid Tenga said.

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