Srinagar, May 11: The G-20 Tourism Working Group summit slated in Srinagar from May 22 to May 24 is an event of “normalcy” and there will be no curbs anywhere while schools, colleges and the markets will remain open, a top official of the J&K administration revealed.
He said that traffic on all routes will play normally and to facilitate the foreign delegates, a proper traffic advisory will be issued in advance. “There is no question of imposing restrictions/curbs from G-20 Tourism Working Group meetings in Srinagar on May 22 to May 24,” the official said. “G-20 is an event of normalcy and imposing curbs can spoil everything.”
For the first time, under India’s presidency G-20 meetings will be held in Srinagar amid tight security cover. “Stage is set and all preparations are in the final stage. Everything is on the right track,” the official said, wishing not to be named.
He said that a traffic advisory will be issued days ahead of the event to facilitate the visiting delegates. “Discussion is on to ensure a people-friendly traffic plan to facilitate the travel of foreign delegates during their stay in Kashmir,” the official said, adding that “traffic advisory will be issued in a people-friendly manner.” Gossip lounges across Srinagar were ripe with the rumours that there would be imposition of restrictions and schools may be closed in view of the G-20 event in the capital city of Kashmir. The foreign delegates are believed to travel to north Kashmir during their stay in the Valley, official sources said.
Elaborate security arrangements have been put in place to ensure smooth passage of the event. J&K administration is of the belief that G-20 is a great opportunity to showcase the tourism potential of the UT at the global platform and to give the once ailing tourism industry a global push. Pertinently, Kashmir has been witnessing record tourism arrivals since past few years and the tourism officials’ belief that this year, the number is set to break previous records.
Marine Commandos and NSG will guard the main venue in Srinagar—SKICC on the banks of Dal Lake besides hotels and lodges where the foreign guests will stay. The venue will remain under aerial surveillance while the security grid in Kashmir has framed the counter strategy to foil all possible threats—Vehicle-borne IEDs, fidayeen strikes, sticky bomb attacks, drone attacks and grenade attacks. The Army will be maintaining a highest level on highways and other vital road links in Kashmir. The security arrangements were given a final touch by the Union Home Secretary Ajay Bhalla during May 9 meeting at SKICC that was followed by another review at Police Headquarters. “A fool-proof security cover will remain in place for the G-20 events in Kashmir,” a top security official said.
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