As the clock ticks down to the G20 Summit scheduled for September 9 and 10, Delhi is in a state of heightened alert. The city is preparing for an influx of global leaders, including but not limited to US President Joe Biden and Canada’s Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. The Delhi Traffic Police, in coordination with other security agencies, have enacted stringent measures that are set to disrupt the daily life of Delhi’s residents. If you’re contemplating navigating the labyrinthine streets of central Delhi during this high-profile international event, here’s the comprehensive lowdown you need to arm yourself with.
Firstly, let’s talk about the elephant in the room: closures. During these pivotal days, key establishments in areas such as Bharat Mandapam in Pragati Maidan will be completely off-limits to the general public. This is a significant move aimed at ensuring the safety and security of the visiting dignitaries. But it’s not all doom and gloom. Markets in Dhaula Kuan, Khan Market, Janpath, and Bhikaji Cama Place will remain operational. However, don’t expect business as usual; movement will be regulated, and you may encounter security checks.
Essential services are the backbone of any city, and Delhi is no exception. Grocery stores, ATMs, and pharmacies will continue to serve the public in these zones. However, if you’re thinking of ordering in, think again. Cloud kitchens and delivery services will face restrictions, so it might be a good idea to stock up in advance.
Now, onto public transport. Metro services will continue to run, but there’s a catch. Commuters should note that specific stations like Moti Bagh, Bhikaji Cama Place, Munirka, RK Puram, IIT, and Sadar Bazar Cantonment will be non-operational. This is a significant disruption, especially for those who rely on the Metro for their daily commute. All theatres and eateries in the controlled precincts of the New Delhi district will also remain closed, adding another layer of complexity to daily life during the summit.
Dignitaries and heads of state will lodge at select hotels like Maurya Sheraton, Lodhi Hotel, and Hyatt. These establishments lie outside the NDMC jurisdiction and will operate as usual, but expect heightened security measures in these areas as well.
Vehicle movement is another area facing significant changes. Cars and bicycles will be curtailed in what is being termed the “controlled zone.” The entire New Delhi district will be designated as “Controlled Zone-I,” while the area encased by the Ring Road will be termed a “Regulated Zone” from the wee hours of Friday until the stroke of midnight on Sunday. The Outer Ring Road remains unshackled, save for National Highway 48, which will be rerouted to ensure smooth flow of VVIP movement.