Srinagar: From Kashmiri folk songs to traditional activities, G20 delegates were greeted with a rousing welcome upon their arrival in Srinagar amid heightened security.
The delegates arrived in Srinagar by a chartered Air Asia flight from Delhi. Union Tourism Minister G Kishan Reddy accompanied the delegates.
At Srinagar International Airport, Joint Secretary G20 Bhavna Saxena, Divisional Commissioner Kashmir, Secretary Tourism Kashmir, Director Tourism Kashmir, and other officials received them.
All of the delegates then departed for the Grand Lalit and Vivanta By Taj hotels, where they would spend the next three days.
On Tuesday, the Working Group on Tourism is slated to meet at the SKICC in Srinagar.
The participants were driven in a cavalcade to the lodgings and the event location on Dal Lake. As Sher-e-Kashmir International Convention Centre (SKICC) is the major venue, vehicular traffic is prohibited on the route heading there.
The Grand Lalit Hotel in Srinagar welcomed G20 delegates with a performance of ‘Rouf’ by a group of female dancers from Kashmir and music by Kashmiri traditional musicians.
Later in the evening, the delegates took a Shikara ride in the famous Dal Lake.
Kashmir is under a three-tier security grid for the G20 event and the MARCOS commandos and the National Security Guards (NSGs) are patrolling the site.
The Special Operations Group (SOG) of the J&K Police would be stationed at a number of locations to provide security cover and thwart any terrorist incidents.
G20 emblems had been painted on buildings and billboards in several areas of Srinagar to welcome the delegates.
According to officials, security has been tightened in the area, especially around Srinagar and its surroundings, to prevent any potential disruption of law and order. The elite NSG and MARCOS have been assisting Police and paramilitary personnel in securing the event's sites as security has been stepped up throughout Kashmir. Srinagar looked calm on the occasion with shops and marketplaces remaining open in Lal Chowk and other parts of the city.However, traffic on the roads was thin due to heightened security arrangements.
“Just landed in beautiful Srinagar for the G20 Kashmir 3rd Working Group Meeting on Tourism. Looking forward to discovering the wonderful sustainable tourism destinations and experiences in J&K!” Singapore High Commissioner Simon Wong tweeted.
The biggest group of five delegates is from Singapore.
The summit is significant since it is Kashmir's first international gathering being conducted following the repeal of Article 370 and the division of the former state into Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh in August 2019.