The Republic Day celebrations in Kolkata will be subdued this year in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic with no spectators being allowed, a senior official said on Monday.
Only a few dignitaries, including Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, Governor Jagdeep Dhankhar and select top state government officials, will be present to witness the parade at Red Road in the heart of the city, he said.
Around 200 contingents will take part in the parade on Tuesday, the state government official told PTI.
"This year, the Republic Day parade will be shorter in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. No spectators will be allowed at Red Road like the previous years. Only a few VVIPs other than the CM, the governor and a few senior bureaucrats have been invited," he said.
The seating arrangements have been made following the COVID-19 protocols of physical distancing, he added.
Usually, the entire Maidan area around the venue is barricaded as thousands of enthusiasts come to the city to witness the parade, a senior Kolkata Police officer said.
French coronavirus vaccine rollout slowed by focus on elderly, red tape
US to join global coronavirus vaccine programme: Anthony Fauci
WHO panel to make recommendations on Moderna coronavirus vaccine
Pope Francis receives first shot of coronavirus vaccine, the Vatican says
Puducherry adds 32 new coronavirus cases, tally rises to 38,164
India starts work on power project despite Pakistan's objections
Farmers ride caravan of tractors into Delhi ahead of Republic Day
Farmers' rally in Mumbai: No police nod for march to Raj Bhavan
Not in favour of imposing anything: Adityanath on plans to ban liquor in UP
Yes Bank case: ED raids Mumbai builder group in money laundering case
"However, this year we have decided to put the barricades only around the surrounding areas of the Red Road to stop the entry of the common people to the venue," he said.
The work to barricade the venue started on Sunday, the officer said.
At least 1,000 policepersons along with security personnel of the Heavy Radio Flying Squad and Radio Flying Squad will be deployed in and around the Red Road area, he said.
"Senior officers of the rank of assistant commissioners and 12 deputy commissioners will be on duty at the venue for the Republic Day celebrations. Adequate security arrangements are in place. We will not take any chances," he added.
Sniffer dogs and bomb squad personnel will be scrutinising the venue and the surrounding areas from time to time to ensure foolproof security, the officer said.