New Delhi gears up to host G20 leaders’ summit

New Delhi, Sep 1 (EFE).- Just over a week before the G20 leaders’ summit kicks off in New Delhi, several neighborhoods of the Indian capital have been beautified with the installation of more than half a million plants as well as posters and logos of the summit, and parks and roads spruced up.

After the inauguration in July of the summit’s venue, the Pragati Maidan exhibition-cum-convention center, which had a budget of $330 million and covers an area of almost 500,000 square meters, according to the prime minister’s office, the capital’s authorities have been working to beautify the nearby areas.

Opposite the complex, where weeds once abounded are thousands of different-colored flowers as well as a multitude of plants that workers have been planting for several weeks.

Almost 675,000 plants have been planted around roads and other designated sites in the capital, New Delhi government officials told India’s PTI news agency, most of them in areas through which the delegates are expected to pass.

Billboards with the G20 logo and the colors of the Indian flag are also visible across the capital.

The city’s authorities have also installed life-size cutouts of gray langurs to scare away monkeys in areas close to Pragati Maidan.

Maintenance work is underway on the 61 roads that the heads of states will use during their stay in New Delhi, and around 15,000 metric tonnes of garbage has been removed while more than 100 sculptures and 150 fountains have been installed, according to officials.

Several of these sculptures and fountains have been installed in dozens of parks in the capital, most of them dominated by the ubiquitous G20 logo, which depicts the lotus flower.

However, this beautification process has had a negative impact on the city’s most vulnerable people.

Many of them have been forced to leave their temporary homes, which were demolished, and abandon the space below flyovers where they had been living for years, at the request of the capital’s authorities, wishing to hide this side of India from the G20 delegates, according to numerous complaints made by activists to local media in recent months. EFE


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