The third G20 tourism working group meeting will be held in Jammu and Kashmir’s capital city of Srinagar starting today under heavy security. This is the first major international event to take place in the area since the Centre removed Jammu and Kashmir’s statehood and withdrew its special status in August 2019.
Parts of the city of Srinagar and the roads leading to the Sher-e-Kashmir International Convention Centre, or SKICC, the location of the G20 conference, have received a sparkling renovation.
At the midway point of its G20 presidency, India has hosted 118 meetings, according to Harshavardhan Shingha, Chief Coordinator G20.
Compared to two prior tourist meetings, he claimed that the Srinagar gathering had attracted the most attendees.
There are about 60 delegates in attendance from G20 member nations. According to officials, Singapore is sending the most delegates to the event in Srinagar.
The summit also includes representatives from nations who were invited as special guests.
China has voiced opposition to the G20 conference taking place in Kashmir, and Saudi Arabia has not registered for the gathering. Turkey seems to have made the decision not to attend the summit in Srinagar.
“China firmly opposes holding G20 meetings in any form in disputed areas and will not attend such meetings,” Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Wang Wenbin said on Friday.
India countered the objection by saying it is free to hold meetings on its own territory. It said peace and tranquility on its border is essential for normal ties with China.
This was China’s first comment about the G20 summit in Srinagar to use such severe language.
Srinagar is protected by an unprecedented level of security in advance of the meeting. The ground-to-air security cover includes the deployment of marine commandos and national security guards.
At key locations and installations, anti-drone units have been activated, and national security guards have been stationed.
The security grid is made up of thousands of soldiers from the Army, BSF, CRPF, Sashastra Seema Bal (SSB), and Jammu and Kashmir Police due to allegations that terrorists may attempt to disrupt the G20 meeting in Kashmir.
vehicles advisories have been issued by the police, and the boulevard road in Srinagar will not be open to vehicles. The G20 delegates’ route is subject to traffic restrictions as well.
Shop owners in the Lal Chowk area have been given special passes so they can maintain their businesses without encountering any issues.
Parts of Srinagar city and the road leading from the airport to the SKICC received a significant renovation before to the gathering.
Footpaths and roadways in Srinagar receive a makeover as part of the smart city project. In addition to the installation of concrete footpaths along the Jhelum Riverfront, Poloview Market, one of Srinagar’s greatest shopping destinations, received a sparkling makeover. The market’s four-lane road connection has been shut down. The market is now tiled and solely open to pedestrians.
G20 delegates will also likely visit Poloview Market as part of the tourist itinerary, which has evolved into a picture-postcard representation of Srinagar’s smart city initiative.
According to officials, the G20 summit would increase tourism in Kashmir, which already attracts a lot of local and international visitors.
Jammu and Kashmir will see a boost in tourists and investments if the upcoming G-20 tourism working group conference is a success, according to Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha on Saturday.