Delhi Lieutenant Governor VK Saxena visited the various locations in the city on Saturday to take stock of the ongoing works in the run-up to the various events related to the G20 summit. On February 2, the Lieutenant Governor chaired a high-level meeting to review the progress of works.
In a whirlwind, day-long exercise, that included walking as much as 29 km altogether at various locations, the Delhi LG was accompanied by the Chief Secretary and heads of all stakeholder departments/agencies, including the Delhi Development Authority (DDA), New Delhi Municipal Committee (NDMC), Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD), Public Works Department (PWD), Archaeological Survey of India (ASI), Delhi Police, Transport, Tourism, Delhi Tourism and Transportation Development Corporation (DTTDC) and railways. All these agencies are carrying out extensive works of cleaning, repair, maintenance, overhaul and makeover of roads, flyovers, heritage sites, markets and hotels, among others.
The LG first visited the areas starting from, ISBT, Hanuman Mandir, Salimgarh Fort, Red Fort, and the outer ring road along Yamuna and the Samadhi stretch. Walking on foot, he inspected the ongoing works and issued specific instructions for the decongestion and cleaning of areas around the Hanuman Mandir and under the Hanuman Setu flyover.
ASI was asked to deep clean and repair the walls of the Salimgarh fort and the bridge connecting it to the Red fort. Railways were similarly asked to repair and revamp the railway overbridge next to Salimgarh Fort. Plans to develop a food street on the space surrounding the Salimgarh fort were discussed on-site and a decision to do so at the earliest was taken 9n the spot.
Apart, from stressing on the cleanliness, repair and greening of footpaths and central verges, that Saxena has been consistently taking up, he also directed concerned land/road-owning agencies to ensure that the green spaces along and around the outer ring road along Yamuna are spruced up and made encroachment free. Thereafter, at the site of the ITPO complex, on Mathura Road and Bhairon Marg, where the summit meeting is expected to be held, the LG reviewed the steps being taken by the Traffic Police and the PWD to ensure seamless exit and entry to the complex from towards India Gate and Bhagwan Das road.
An open drain adjacent to the Purana Qila towards Bhairon Marg was directed to be cleaned and lighting arrangements and repair of the Fort by ASI were reviewed. While walking through the Qutub Institutional Area, Qutub Minar and the Mehrauli Archeological Park, the LG expressed displeasure and disappointment at the general state of disrepair, congestion, neglect and unclean and unkempt roads, footpaths and pavements.
At the roundabout on the approach road to Qutub Minar, LG asked the Traffic Police to immediately explore the possibility of making the stretch ‘one way’, so as to eliminate traffic congestion that mars the area. The Mehrauli Archeological Park and the Qutub Minar Complex were decided to be seamlessly interconnected, so as to develop the entire area into a heritage walk, and a Baoli in the area which has become non-existent with silt and garbage deposited into it was instructed to be cleaned and revived.
ASI along with the Delhi Urban Heritage Foundation, under DDA, will work in conjunction for implementing this in a mission mode. They will also ensure the cleaning, repair and facelift of the historic Quli Khan Mazaar and the Kamali-Jamali Mosque in the Qutub Complex. Saxena also visited the areas and roads surrounding Hyatt Hotel on Ring Road, Leela Hotel on Africa Avenue, Taj Hotel on SP Marg and Dilli Haat- INA Market to take stock of the makeover and refurbishing works being undertaken there.
He will be undertaking similar visits in the days to come so as to ensure the proper and timely completion of all works. The foreign ministers of the Group of Twenty (G20) countries are set to meet in New Delhi in March this year.
India assumed the Presidency of the G20 starting in December 2022. The 43 Heads of Delegations- the largest ever in G20-will be participating in the final New Delhi Summit in September next year.