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High-Security G20 Tourism Working Group Meeting Commences in Srinagar


G20 Tourism Working Group Meeting

The eagerly awaited third meeting of the G20 Tourism Working Group in Srinagar commenced on Monday under tight security measures. Intelligence agencies, armed forces, and the police are on high alert to counter any potential terrorist threats.


To ensure the safety of all G20 delegates, stringent security arrangements have been put in place, including the provision of bulletproof vehicles, jammers, and ambulances. More than 150 participants have arrived for the event.


While China, Turkey, and Saudi Arabia have not registered for the summit, numerous tour operators from the Middle Eastern countries are present in the city to attend. Egypt, an invitee, has not sent a representative.


This marks the first international event in Jammu and Kashmir since the central government revoked its special status in August 2019.


Although a working group meeting took place on Monday, the main event is scheduled for Wednesday.


In terms of security, India has deployed the elite MARCOS Commando Force of the Indian Navy, alongside the National Security Guards. The Central Armed Police Forces, including the CRPF and the BSF, have also been deployed in significant numbers.


Additionally, the security agencies have stationed the Rashtriya Rifles unit and the Para SF of the Indian Army in the surrounding ridges near the venue and where the delegates are accommodated.


According to sources in the security establishment, potential troublemakers have been monitored over the past few weeks, and some have been apprehended. The sources express confidence in their ability to thwart any major attacks.


"While Pakistan has expressed objections to holding the G20 meet in Srinagar, it is unlikely to authorize a direct hit due to the repercussions. However, the concern lies in the possibility of terrorists carrying out a low-key attack on their own," stated one source.


Multiple police checkpoints have been set up in the city, and G20 billboards now adorn almost every bunker.


Traffic regulations have been enforced on Boulevard Road, running alongside Dal Lake, particularly in sections leading to the venue. Vehicles lacking valid G20 stickers are prohibited from entering the venue. The hotel accommodating the delegates has been completely cordoned off.


Entry and exit points at the Srinagar airport have also faced heavy restrictions, causing inconvenience to tourists.


City preparations for G20 delegates:

The G20 delegates received a warm welcome upon arrival at Srinagar airport on Monday.


During a media briefing, G20 Chief Coordinator Harsh Vardhan Shringla highlighted that the G20 summit in Srinagar has attracted the highest number of participants compared to the previous two tourism meetings.


Significant efforts have been made to enhance various parts of the city that will host the G20 delegates, including the roads leading to the Sher-e-Kashmir International Convention Center (SKICC), where the event is taking place.


Under the Srinagar Smart City initiative, new footpaths have been constructed, and city roads have been resurfaced. The Jhelum riverfront has undergone renovations with the addition of footpaths and street lights, while selfie points have been installed for tourists. Additionally, the main shopping area in Srinagar, Poloview, has received a complete facelift.


Yorumlar


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