TOURISM WORKING GROUP MEETING OF G – 20 BEGINS IN SRINAGAR AMID TIGHT SECURITY

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TOURISM WORKING GROUP MEETING OF G-20 BEGINS IN SRINAGAR AMID TIGHT SECURITY

by Bisma Nazir 

The third working group meeting of G-20 member states on tourism has just begun in Srinagar amid tight security.

Around 125 delegates from G-20 countries have arrived in Srinagar this morning. The delegates landed at Srinagar international Airport in two chattered flights and were escorted to Lalit The Grand Palace, Taj Vivanta and there after to  the Sher-e-Kashmir International Convocation Centre (SKICC). South Indian mega star @AlwayasRamCharan too landed in Srinagar this morning to participate in the first side event on “Film Tourism for Economic Growth and Cultural Preservation” of the 3rd G-20 Tourism working group meeting.  On their arrival  the delegates were accorded a warm reception in Kashmiri tradition. Singapore has the highest number of delegates participating in the two-day event. China has decided to stay away from the tourism working group meeting currently underway in Srinagar. It is reported that Turkey too has not registered for the Srinagar meeting and is likely to skip the event.

Elaborative security arrangements have been put in place following intelligence inputs about possible terrorism related incidents. As reported earlier contingents of National Security Guards (NSG) have been called to man the venue along Dal-Lake. There is heavy deployment of security forces from Srinagar international Airport to SKICC and other important locations which the delegates are supposed to visit later in the evening. It merits a mention here that owing to security challenges the UT administration has made last minute changes in the itinerary of the visiting delegates. The delegated were supposed to visit the ski- resort Gulmarg and Baramulla in North Kashmir. However, the UT administration has decided not to take any risk and has made an alternate plan of taking the visiting dignitaries to the Mughal gardens and the Polo View market in the heart of the Srinagar city. The traffic police have issued an advisory and vehicular movement is not allowed on Gupkar road leading to SKICC. Pari Mahal, Botanical Garden and Nishat Garden have been sanitized and heavy deployment of the security forces have been made to facilitate the sightseeing of the visiting dignitaries. Tourists have been advised not to visit the Mughal gardens today and tomorrow. Most of the people have chosen to stay indoors in Srinagar city. The Government offices, however, are functioning normally and markets are open to greet the G-20 delegates.

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