Parade will end at National Stadium instead of Red Fort; steps being taken to ensure social distancing
The Republic Day parade this year will see marching contingents terminate at the India Gate C-Hexagon instead of the Red Fort.
Earlier, the parade used to cover around 8 km but this year the distance has been reduced to roughly 3 km. The parade will now end at the National Stadium.
The new route and security arrangements were discussed during a meeting between Delhi Police and the Ministry of Defence.
“The distance has been cut short in order to maintain social distancing. The new plan was discussed at the meeting and the required security and logistic protocols will be done. The area will be sanitised by the police and then handed over to the Ministry of Defence,” said a police officer.
The number of members in a marching contingent has been reduced from 144 to 96.
The number of tableaus has, however, been increased to 32 this year.
In previous years, there were an average of 28 tableaus on display.
Bharat Parv cancelled
Every year, the tableaus are parked at the Red Fort for a week after the parade for public viewing, but this year the tableaus will not be put on display, said the officer.
Due to this, the Red Fort will not be closed for a week this year. It will be closed only on Republic Day.
Following social distancing guidelines, the six-day Bharat Parv event that is usually organised on Rajpath lawns from January 26-31 has been cancelled.
Due to COVID-19 restrictions, only 25,000 visitors will be permitted to witness the Republic Day parade compared with the usual over one lakh. Children under the age of 15 will not be allowed at the event.
The police officer added that security arrangements and restriction on the number of visitors for the Beating Retreat ceremony was also discussed at the meeting.
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