Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal approves public holiday during G20 summit, affecting schools, government offices. Delhi Police request holiday and discuss challenges posed by left-hand drive vehicles.
Delhi Chief Minister’s Decision: Public Holiday for G20 Summit
Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal has given the nod to declare a public holiday from September 8th to 10th in the capital city due to the G20 summit. This decision will result in the closure of all schools and government offices, including Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD) offices, on these dates.
Delhi Police’s Request for Public Holiday
The Delhi Police, in line with the G20 summit preparations, has made a formal request to Delhi’s chief secretary, Naresh Kumar, to officially designate September 8th to 10th as public holidays. They have also suggested that commercial and business establishments within ‘controlled zones’ remain closed during this period.
G20 Summit: A Meeting of Global Leaders
India, having taken over the G20 presidency in December, is in the process of hosting international leaders and a sequence of meetings covering 32 sectors across the country under the G20 framework. The culmination of these events will be a meeting of heads of governments and states from member nations, scheduled to take place in New Delhi on September 9th and 10th.
Traffic Disruptions and Left-Hand Drive Dilemma
Special traffic arrangements, designed to facilitate a carcade rehearsal ahead of the summit, led to traffic congestion in Central Delhi and routes connecting to Gurugram on Monday morning. The Delhi Police outlined that these arrangements and restrictions for the rehearsal would impact traffic in and around various areas.
Additionally, the G20 summit is expected to bring forth a unique traffic challenge – the presence of 100 left-hand drive (LHD) vehicles. These vehicles are typically used by countries where driving on the right side of the road is the norm. While these LHD vehicles might be allowed for the event, integrating them on the road alongside the prevalent right-hand drive (RHD) vehicles poses operational difficulties.
Special Arrangements for G20 Vehicles
Delhi Police disclosed that several G20 member countries, such as the US, Russia, and China, have indicated their preference for using their own LHD vehicles. To accommodate this, the ministry of external affairs (MEA) has procured around 50 LHD bullet-proof Audi cars from Germany, which are expected to arrive in India in the coming weeks.