The Delhi Police on Tuesday requested the Delhi chief secretary Naresh Kumar to declare a public holiday from September 8 to 10 for the G-20 Summit, which is set to be held in New Delhi.
The police has also requested for the chief secretary to order for commercial and business establishments to remain closed in ‘controlled zones’.
India, which assumed the G20 presidency in December, has been hosting global leaders and a series of meetings related to 32 sectors across the country under the aegis of the forum. The events will culminate with the meeting of heads of the governments and states of member nations in New Delhi on September 9-10.
Special traffic arrangements to facilitate a carcade rehearsal ahead of the summit also triggered traffic congestion in Central Delhi and routes leading to Gurugram on Monday morning. Delhi police said that special arrangements and restrictions for rehearsal were expected to impact traffic in and around Salimgarh Bypass, Mahatma Gandhi Marg, Bhairon Marg, Mathura Road, C-Hexagon, Sardar Patel Marg, and Gurgaon Road.
Left-Hand Drive vehicles likely to be an issue
The Delhi traffic police is also expecting a unique problem during the G20 summit, which is 100 left-hand drive (LHD) vehicles. While the police is willing to overlook the illegality — it is illegal to drive LHD vehicles in India — they believe that the operational challenges of LHD vehicles cohabiting roads with right-hand drive (RHD) ones are significant. Some of the LHD vehicles will be brought in by some G20 member countries; India’s external affairs ministry has also brought some, to ferry the leaders.
Among G20 countries, only India, Australia, Japan, South Africa, and UK use RHD vehicles, while the remaining use LHD ones. A senior Delhi Police officer who asked not to be named said that at least three countries , the US, Russia and China, have informed security agencies that they would prefer to ship in their own LHD vehicles. “Their vehicles will soon reach India. Besides, the ministry of external affairs (MEA) has purchased around 50 LHD bullet-proof Audi cars from Germany and these will reach India in a week or two,” the officer said.