Political leaders and representatives of several international countries are slated to assemble in Delhi from September 9-10, for the 2023 G20 Heads of State and Government Summit. Preparations are underway for the eighteenth meeting — with road closures, flight schedules, hotel availability, and other aspects of everyday functioning expected to be affected. If you’re in the capital city next month, here’s everything you need to know.
For the first time, South Asia — specifically Delhi, India — will see several heads of states deliberate on matters ranging from global trade to climate change at the G20 Summit. Apart from India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, US President Joe Biden, and German Chancellor Olaf Scholz — amongst other leaders — are expected to be in attendance. Dignitaries from international organisations like the UN, IMF, World Bank, WHO, OECD, ASEAN, and AU will also participate.
Reportedly, India has also invited Egypt, Mauritius, Netherlands, Nigeria, Singapore, Spain, UAE, Oman, and Bangladesh as guest countries as well as Coalition for Disaster Resilient Infrastructure and Asian Development Bank and International Solar Alliance and guest international organisations. The theme for this year — which marks the 18th meeting — is ‘Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam’ which translates to ‘One Earth, One Family, One Future.’ A Leaders’ Declaration will be adopted at the end, marking the representatives’ commitment towards all the priorities discussed and agreed upon over the course of the summit.
The G20 Summit will take place at Pragati Maidan
A glimpse of the lovely mandapam- venue of G20 summit pic.twitter.com/2mZjh0akuX
— pallavi ghosh (@_pallavighosh) August 17, 2023
These meetings will occur from September 9-10 at the state-of-the-art international exhibition and convention complex at Pragati Maidan. This space spans over 123 acres, can seat up to 7,000 people, and is the largest of its kind in the capital. It’s owned and managed by India Trade Promotion Organisation (ITPO) Ministry of Commerce and Industry, Government of India. Reportedly, it’s larger than the Sydney Opera House.
A report by India Express quotes Modi saying, “The convention centre is developed as the centrepiece of Pragati Maidan complex. It is… designed to host large-scale international exhibitions, trade fairs, conventions, conferences, and other prestigious events…” He further added, “The architectural design of the convention centre is inspired from Indian traditions and showcases India’s confidence and conviction in its past while also embracing modern facilities and way of life.” Centrally located, this complex is easily accessible by road and rail.
Public holidays declared in Delhi with multiple closures
Delhi Government issues notification for the Public Holiday on September 8, 9 and 10, in view of the G20 Summit scheduled to be held in Delhi. pic.twitter.com/r3hCgwcg5U
— ANI (@ANI) August 24, 2023
High security is a given with 8-10 September being declared (paid) public holidays. Here are a few pointers to bear in mind:
- All establishments in the capital city — including schools, colleges, the Supreme Court, commercial banks, financial institutions, shops, business spaces, and retail liquour stores — will remain closed.
- Alcohol wil likely not be permitted at bars and restaurants and protests are barred at Jantar Mantar.
- Cloud kitchens as well as food and commercial delivery services (including Amazon and Flipkart) are not permitted to operate.
- Auto rickshaws, city buses, and taxis will not be allowed to enter New Delhi District from 5:00 am on 9 September to 11:59 pm on 10 September. Exceptions will be made for residents and tourists holding valid bookings in hotels within this area.
- 207 trains — including 12280 Taj Express, 14681 New Delhi-Jalandhar Express, and 22479 Sarbat Da Bhala Express — have been cancelled.
- Non-essential vehicles will be redirected to the Eastern and Western Peripheral Expressways along with other alternate routes.
Interstate buses will be allowed entry into Delhi with terminating points on the Ring Road. Establishments outside of the New Delhi Municipal Council (NDMC) limits will operate as usual.
Essential services including metro to remain open
Essential services establishments like hospitals, medical stores, and milk shops will remain open. Deliveries of essential medical items and lab reports as well as sample collection services will be permitted. A report by Hindustan Times adds that ambulance services will be on everywhere and the helpline number 6828400604/112 from the Ambulance Assistance Control Room will be operational from 12:00 am on 8 September to 11:59 pm on 11 September. “There are arrangements for special bike riders to felicitate ambulances, efforts for the hassle-free supply of essential commodities and entry restrictions for heavy goods vehicles (HGV) on borders, railways, and three-seater auto rickshaws (TSR) in Lutyens,” Surender Singh Yadav, Special CP (Traffic) noted. While metro rail services will remain open at all stations, boarding and de-boarding at the Supreme Court Metro Station will not be permitted from 9-10 September, 5:00 am-11:00 pm. There might also be a few delays at a few other stations due to VIP movement.
Alternative routes issued for seamless commute
General traffic will be allowed into Delhi through Rajokari Border while traffic from NH-48 will be diverted to Rao Tula Ram Marg-Old Palam Marg. Vehicular movement is not permitted on NH-48 towards Dhaula Kuan. Mathura Road, Purana Quila Road, Pragati Maidan Tunnel, and Bhairon Road will remain closed to all vehicles from 7-10 September. At large, travel to areas within the zones around the summit is not recommended. A report by Mint elaborates on alternative routes to follow for easier commute:
- North-South Corridor: Ring Road – Ashram Chowk – Sarai Kale Khan – Delhi-Meerut Expressway – Noida Link Road – Pusa Road – Yudhistir Setu – ISBT Kashmere Gate – Ring Road – Majnu Ka Tila
- From Yudhisthir Setu – Ring Road – Chandgi Ram Akhara – Mall Road – Azad Pur Chowk – Ring Road – Lala Jagat Narayan Marg
- East-West Corridor: From Sun Dial/DND Flyover – Ring Road – Ashram Chowk – Moolchand Underpass – AIIMS Chowk – Ring Road – Dhaula Kuan – Ring Road – Brar Square – Naraina Flyover – Rajouri Garden Junction – Ring Road – Punjabi Bagh Junction – Ring Road – Azad Pur Chowk
Hotels are either sold out or display steep prices
Times Now notes that the hospitality sector has risen to the occasion by upping service standards, going so far as to hiring more staff as well. Food offerings have been revamped as well. About 35 hotels in Delhi have been booked for the delegates and leaders of the G20 Summit — with top names being hosted by Taj Mahal, Maurya Sheraton, Taj Palace, Le Meridien, Imperial, Shangri-La Eros, Oberoi, and Leela. American president Joe Biden is expected to stay at ITC Maurya while the Chinese president Xi Jinping will head to Taj Palace. Besides being sold-out or having limited room availability in these specific establishments, others in the area, especially Aerocity, come with booking prices that are through the roof. Economic Times notes prices as high as INR 40,000 per night.
Delhi Police issues a no-fly zone notice, flights cancelled
— Economic Times (@EconomicTimes) August 26, 2023
A report by Hindustan Times points to cancellations of about 160 domestic flights to and from Delhi’s Indira Gandhi International (IGI) Airport over traffic retrictions. “While we recognise that approximately 80 arrivals and 80 departures may be affected due to these cancellations, we are committed to working closely with airlines to minimize any inconvenience caused to passengers,” a statement from DIAL noted. It added that there was plenty of parking space provided. Decongestion of the Delhi Airport is also reportedly underway to avoid inconvenience to passengers. Media sources point to potential increase in traffic, higher security, and general delays. The general advisory is to account for these factors before going to and from the airport. Delhi Police recommends taking the metro line to the airport. International flights will reportedly not be affected.
“In order to make flight landings with dignitaries seamless, the flights carrying the leaders (which includes Prime Ministers, Presidents) would be allowed to land at the Indira Gandhi International Airport, New Delhi, on a first come first served basis. While additional aircraft, including stand-by aircraft, logistics flights, and flights with additional delegates and security staff can be diverted to other nearby airports,’’ New Indian Express reports, quoting a source. It adds that the meeting venue is located about 30 minutes from the airport and as such, dignitaries have been advised to arrive in the capital by 8 September and stay until 10 September. Dedicated lanes will be established at immigration counters for seamlessness.
Another report by NDTV adds that Indian Air Force (IAF) fighter planes will remain on standby to keep watch on suspicious activity — including drones or UAVs — with Delhi Police issuing a no-fly notice prohibiting specific flying items. This includes paramotors, hang gliders, UAVS, UASS, remotely-piloted aircraft, hot air balloons, quadcopters, small-sized powered aircraft, and paragliders, amongst others.
Preparations for the summit include special drives
VIDEO | The New Delhi Municipal Council (NDMC) said it has taken initiatives to beautify Lutyens’ Delhi ahead of the G20 Summit with a focus on water features, horticultural enhancements, and sprucing up infrastructure.
NDMC Vice Chairman Satish Upadhyay listed the steps taken… pic.twitter.com/XvJ961FiRw
— Press Trust of India (@PTI_News) August 11, 2023
According to Mint, special clean-up and upkeep drives across 26 important roads in the city including Mathura Road, Purana Quila Road, Lodhi Road, Suraj Kund Road, Mahatma Gandhi Road, and Maulana Mohammad Ali Jauhar Marg. Besides this, extra dustbins, flower pots, and other fixtures will be added in these locations for a spruce up. In line with this, a theme park is set to come up in Greater Kailash-2 M-Block. Langur cutouts and other special measures have been taken to deter monkeys from the area.
In a recent report by NDTV, Delhi Public Works Department (PWD) Minister Atishi was quoted saying, “Today, I visited Rajghat, a location that many delegates and heads of countries will visit during the summit…Over the past year, the stretch from Rajghat to Red Fort has undergone a stunning transformation led by the PWD. This area has been enhanced with features such as fountains, contemporary street art, open seating spaces, lighting and much more.” She further added, “As such, the memorial has undergone unique landscaping. It has been adorned with greenery all around, a 115-foot Indian flag, lighting installations, and much more.”
All images: Courtesy Shutterstock
This story first appeared here
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Answer: The 2023 G20 Summit will take place at Pragati Maidan, New Delhi.
Answer: New Delhi will host the 2023 G20 Heads of State and Government Summit from 8-11 September.
Answer: The theme for the 2023 G20 Summit — which marks the 18th meeting — is ‘Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam’ which translates to ‘One Earth, One Family, One Future.’
Answer: The 2023 G20 summit in New Delhi marks the eighteenth meeting of Group of Twenty and will discuss matters of global importance, from trade to climate change.