In preparation for the G-20 summit this week, workers are busy enhancing road infrastructure, police personnel are conducting rehearsals, and there is a palpable sense of excitement in the air as India’s capital, New Delhi, readies itself to host leaders from around the world.
India took over the bloc’s presidency from Indonesia last year in December and will hold the G-20 Leaders’ Summit for the first time on Sept. 9-10.
Security is a primary concern and various agencies are busy in ensuring foolproof measures, with thousands of security personnel deployed for the high-profile event.
Over 50,000 security personnel will be on duty for the event, a police official told Anadolu, requesting anonymity due to media curbs.
Authorities have said there will be no lockdown in the capital, but there will be travel restrictions in some areas from Sept. 8-10, with designated zones set up in the city.
Last month, police commandos conducted a “helicopter slithering exercise” as part of their contingency preparations.
The police will be assisted by various agencies, including the National Security Guard, India’s federal contingency deployment force.
The Indian Air Force is deploying frontline fighter jets, radars, anti-drone systems and surface-to-air missiles as part of its elaborate efforts to secure the skies of Delhi and neighboring areas, according to local news agency Press Trust of India.
Indian Railways has also said that rail traffic will be impacted because of the summit, issuing a list of dozens of train services that will be affected.
‘Delhi is excited’
Saurabh Bhardwaj, a minister of the Aam Aadmi Party that rules Delhi, said all main roads of the capital have been decked out to welcome the visitors.
“Delhi is excited to welcome its G-20 guests,” he said on X, formerly Twitter.
G-20 advertisements have been put up at the city’s airports, bus stations, offices and major thoroughfare.
Samir Patil, an expert on security matters, told Anadolu that the summit offers an opportunity for India to advance its development agenda.
“G-20’s focus on global economic governance means New Delhi would also be able to strengthen trade ties with the rest of the member nations. It has already mobilized the Global South to bring G-20’s focus on these issues,” he said.
Observers are particularly keen to see whether India will be able to forge consensus on major issues at the summit.
“A G-20 Leaders’ Declaration will be adopted at the conclusion of the G-20 Summit, stating leaders’ commitment towards the priorities discussed and agreed upon during the respective ministerial and working group meetings,” according to a note on the event’s website.
Last month, the Indian government was informed that Russian President Vladimir Putin will not be able to attend the meeting and would be represented by Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov.
China has also confirmed that Premier Li Qiang will attend the New Delhi meeting instead of President Xi Jinping.
“While the Ukraine war and US-China tensions will also dominate the proceedings, in my view, New Delhi will be able to evolve a consensus on pressing global issues,” said Patil.