G20 prep: Chai, culture, cars... there’s plenty for the twenty
The G20 Summit preparations are on in full swing. While the Capital’s walls have been revamped artistically and the security is on place, there are also certain challenges such as the rise in demand for luxury cars, which are yet to be met. The dress rehearsal for the Summit is scheduled for September 2 and 3.
Delhi is all set for a grand welcome of the leaders of the G20 nations for the summit on September 9 and 10.
Vrooming demand for luxe cars
Car rental dealers report a shortage of luxury vehicles as the National Capital gears up to host the delegates at the upcoming G20 Summit. Amrit Mann, president, Indian Tourist Transport Association and director at Mann Tourist Transport Services Pvt Ltd., says his company needs around 30 to 40 more cars per day to fulfil the requirement of 300/day. “We’ve spent about ₹61 crore since November 2022 to buy new luxury cars,” adds Mann.
Mercedes Maybach and Toyota Coaster are among the top models in demand. “Even if someone is ready to pay a lakh per day for a luxury car, we don’t have any to provide,” says Lakhanpal Singh Dhillon, owner, Rajputana Cabs. His firm has supplied 92 cars per day, but are in need of 103 more.
Artistically spruced up Delhi
Besides the sprucing up of 66 arterial roads and stretches, including the 5.8km stretch near Pragati Maidan, authorities have re-carpeted avenue roads, installed designer fountains with sculptures and refurbished pavements, such as those near Samrat Hotel Rotary and Ashoka Hotel. According to Satish Upadhyay, vice-chairperson, New Delhi Municipal Council (NDMC), around 3,000 trees and 2.8 million saplings have been planted. Floodlights, multicoloured LED lights, underground power cables and Tricolour flagpoles have been installed along the Ranjeet Singh and Safdarjung flyovers. A Saptarishi installation, showcasing the seven sages in Hindu culture, has come up at Pragati Maidan.
Attendees of the G20 Summit are in for a traditional welcome at hotels, replete with aarti, tika, garlanding and a welcome gift in the form of Katkari stoles. Leaders of the G20 nations, who will assemble at Pragati Maidan, will be treated to a cultural corridor exhibiting sculptures and paintings, giving them a peek into India’s rich heritage.
An official from the Ministry of Culture says that for the spouses of the leaders, a visit has been arranged to the National Gallery of Modern Art. They will also get a tour of the prominent monuments including Safdarjung Tomb, Purana Qila, Jantar Mantar, Red Fort, Qutb Minar and Humayun’s Tomb.
Paws at your service, guests!
Sniffer dogs will be deployed starting from IGI Airport to the hotels where they will stay.
69 explosive detection dogs, part of the K9 squad, will be on duty. Breeds include Belgian Malinois, Golden Retriever, Labrador and Alsatian. The dogs have undergone six-month-long training at the ITBP camp.
Besides this, the Delhi Police has deployed virtual help desks (traffic.delhipolice.gov.in/dtpg20info) to assist visitors find their way through the city. Essential information regarding directions, safety services and medical facilities will also be available on the portal.
Author tweets @maishascribbles