Dressing up for G20

Civic agencies and Delhi govt are making all-out efforts to redesign the capital’s traffic corridors and avenues – where attention to detail begins with a new colour scheme.
The main conference building getting ready at Pragati Maidan
The main conference building getting ready at Pragati Maidan

Preparations are on course as India is set to host G20 summit in 2023. Civic agencies in the capital are now venturing into state-of-the-art projects to revamp areas around hotels, public spaces and movement corridors – between the Indira Gandhi International Airport and central Delhi.

India assumed G20 presidency on December 1, and will hold the title till November, 30, 2023. The theme for the summit as stated by the nation’s prime minister is “One Earth, One Family, One Future”.

Need seamless coordination of agencies: L-G

To take stock of the preparations, Lieutenant Governor Vinai Kumar Saxena had chaired a high-level meeting with all top officials including Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia, ministers Kailash Gahlot and Raaj Kumar Anand, Chief Secretary Naresh Kumar, and Commissioner of Police Sanjay Arora.
Saxena also chaired meetings with the heads of all authorities concerned – in the run up to the G-20 Summit and related events, to which Delhi will play host.

The L-G has sought seamless coordination between agencies to achieve the target and guarantee that all the work will be completed in the decided time frame.

Under the L-G’s supervision, beautification of an 8-km road stretch between Dhaula Kuan and the airport was undertaken in August – ahead of the first visit by an official delegation associated with the G-20 Summit in November.

The visiting officials, delegations, and heads of state or governments for the forthcoming G-20 Summit, and the millions of visitors and tourists who would flock to the capital will be able to view Delhi with an entirely new perspective, said officials at the Raj Niwas.

“The makeover on the IGI Airport-Dhaula Kuan stretch, and beyond – on the Sardar Patel Marg – is being personally supervised by the L-G on a weekly basis,” a source at the Raj Niwas said.

Work on the upgradation of this stretch will be completed in three months and similar aesthetic makeover projects will be undertaken in several other parts of the city in a phased manner, officials had said in late August.

Saxena, who had visited the stretch along with officials right on the day of assuming office as the L-G, had put forth a comprehensive makeover plan and has since been personally monitoring it by visiting the location every Sunday, interacting with labourers among others to ensure timely and effective implementation.

The L-G has since visited the site on 19 different occasions, sources said. The makeover plan includes aesthetic facelift by way of uniform color patterns on flyovers and foot-over-bridges, horticultural overhaul with flowering plants – to achieve a stepped three-coloured pattern, general cleanliness, and symmetric installation of fountains and big-sized lion statues.

So far, ‘record time’ has been clocked in covering open drains, repairing of pavements, central verges and dividers. An odd 30,000 seasonal flowering plants have been seeded, and painting flyovers in new red and white colour scheme from of the earlier black has been completed.

“Installation of aesthetically-designed view cutters in shapes of ‘charkha’ and the ‘Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav’ logo has been completed in above mentioned stretches,” the source said. In steps that would affect long-term landscape changes, eight lion statues – finished in white marble and black stone – and nine fountains of 11ft each are being installed at different locations, they said.

NDMC furthering PM’s vision

The NDMC, which is also the nodal agency for hosting the G-20 summit, is carrying out all modification and beautification works in Lutyens’ Delhi on the theme of PM Narendra Modi’s pet Central Vista project.

“The central avenues of New Delhi are being developed in keeping with the theme of Central Vista vision. For example, stones of the pathways will be matched with the colour of the Central Vista development,” NDMC member, Kuljeet Singh Chahal said.

“The council is also working in partnership with the public to carry out the works. We have invited suggestions from the public through various social platforms to make them feel connected with the G-20 preparations,” he said.

On where the work of the council, the BJP leader said that two flyovers – Raja Ranjit Singh flyover and Safdarjung flyover – which are the main entry points to NDMC’s limits from the MCD jurisdiction.
“A total of 30 flags will be posted with 15 on each side of the Raja Ranjit Singh flyover along with the lights. Similarly, around 30 decorative poles along with the multi-colour lights will be placed with 15 on each side of the Safdarjung flyover,” said Chahal.

This apart, the council in partnership with the National Gallery in Modern Art has plans to install modern as well as traditional art sculptures at various roundabouts in the identified areas. A total of 52 roundabouts and 41 roads fall under the jurisdiction of the council.

Giving the details of the work being undertaken under the ‘Green NDMC Mission’, The council member pointed out that roads and roundabouts will be adorned with nearly one lakh potted plants and flowers, floral boards and fountains.

MCD not to miss any detail

Ahead of the G-20 summit, the MCD will initiate the revamping work of several public spaces under its jurisdiction which will include improving the road systems, improving walkability, refurbishing signages, beautifying the undersides of flyovers, LED lighting, illuminating trees with proper lights at different places, covering of drain/replacement of broken slab, public art at important locations, development of modern kiosks, and permanent measures for preventing water-logging, etc.

A senior MCD official said that roads leading to Sunder Nursery, Tuglaqabad Shooting Range, Qutab Minar park, alleyways in the prominent markets at Lajpat Nagar, Greater Kailash-I, Greater Kailash-II, South Extension and Defence Colony will be revamped.

The corporation has also shortlisted the locations for installing art –55 such to come up at markets and historical places. “This apart, water fountains and the illumination of trees will also be done by the MCD at Qutub Park, PVR Saket, GK 2 M Block Market, Waste to Wonder Park, Bharat Darshan Park, Shaheedi Park ITO, Ajmal Khan Park etc, and at Seven Wonder Park, Sarai Kale Khan, Bharat Dharshan Park, Punjabi Bagh, and Shaheedi Park, ITO as well as markets respectively,” said the official.
Delhi govt to begin with rehab of destitute

The AAP led-Delhi government has issued directions to relocate the destitute from the premises of the Hanuman Mandir near Kashmere Gate ISBT to night shelters run by the Delhi Urban Shelter Improvement Board (DUSIB). A four-member committee, under the DUSIB chief engineer, has been constituted to devise an action plan within the coming week for rehabilitating the homeless.

The plant-cover being spread by the civic agencies aside, the state forest authorities have also decided to add 10 lakh exotic potted plants to the capital’s corridors. The horticultural authorities of the Central and Delhi governments – including the Delhi Development Department, NDMC, MCD and PWD – have been asked to decorate public spaces, roundabouts, major intersections, flyovers and vertical pillars in the city with exotic flowering plants, a senior forest official said.

Meanwhile, Delhi government sources have revealed that concerts, entertainment shows, and film festivals will be organised to garner maximum public participation.

100 monuments adorn G20 theme

A total of 100 monuments including UNESCO world heritage sites bearing the G-20 logo were illuminated for seven days from December 1 to 7 including Srinagar’s Shankaracharya temple Delhi’s Red Fort Thanjavur’s Great living Chola temple.

This apart, Humayun’s Tomb and Purana Quila in Delhi to Modhera Sun Temple in Gujarat, and Konark Sun Temple in Odisha to Sher Shah Suri’s Tomb in Bihar, are on the list of these 100 sites.

String of events to follow

The Union Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) had recently said, “Under its Presidency, India is expected to host over 200 G20 meetings across the country, beginning December. The G20 Leaders’ Summit at the level of heads of statesis scheduled to be held on September 9 and 10, 2023 in New Delhi.” The G20 or Group of 20 is an intergovernmental forum of the world’s major developed and developing economies.

It comprises Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, France, Germany, India, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, the Republic of Korea, Mexico, Russia, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, Turkey, the UK, the US, and the European Union (EU).

Delhi will host eight events, beginning from March 1, 2023 when the G-20 Foreign Ministers will meet in the city and culminating in the Summit meeting of heads of stateson September 9 and 10, 2023.
Other events to be hosted by Delhi include Parliament-20 Summit on June 5 and 6, 2023, 4th Sherpa Meeting on September 3 and 6, 2023, 4th Finance and Central Bank Deputies Meeting on September 5 and 6, 2023, Joint Sherpas and Finance Deputies Meeting on September 6, 2023, Joint Finance and Energy Deputies Meeting on September 7, 2023 and Joint Finance and Energy Ministers Meeting on September 8, 2023.

Beautification update

*Lutyens’ Delhi gets major makeover

The NDMC which is also the nodal agency for hosting the G-20 summit is carrying out all the modification and beautification works in Lutyens’ Delhi

2 flyovers
Raja Ranjit Singh and Safdarjung flyovers - which are the main entry points to the NDMC limits to be illuminated

52 roundabouts and 41 roads fall under the NDMC’s jurisdiction

30 flags with decorative poles – 15 on each side – of the two flyovers
Multi-coloured lights to adorn the decorative poles

Focus on walkability

MCD will initiate revamp of several public spaces under its jurisdiction:

  • To improve roads and signages, beautify undersides of flyovers,
  • Attention to walkability along major routes: with LED street lighting, illuminated trees and modern kiosks
  • To cover up drain/replacement of broken slabs and permanent measures for preventing water-logging

Delhi govt’s green plan
AAP led-Delhi government has issued directions:

  • To relocate beggars from Hanuman Mandir area near the Kashmere Gate ISBT
  • 10 lakh exotic potted plants on roundabouts, major intersections and flyovers
  • Vertical greens with exotic flowering plants

The civic council in partnership with National Gallery in Modern Art plans to install modern and traditional art sculptures at various roundabouts identified.

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