Updated: Wed, 26 Jan 2022 09:24 AM IST
New Delhi | Jagran News Desk: Approximately 24,000 people will be permitted to attend the Republic Day parade on January 26 this year given the COVID-19 situation in the national capital, sources in the defence establishment said as reported by news agency Press Trust of India. In 2020, before the pandemic struck India, around 1.25 lakh people were permitted to attend the parade, they noted.
Last year's Republic Day parade took place amid the Covid pandemic and close to 25,000 people were allowed to attend it, PTI sources mentioned.
Like last year, this time too the parade may not have any foreign dignitary as the chief guest due to the pandemic. India was planning to invite the heads of 5 Central Asian countries which included Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyz Republic and Tajikistan.
"Formal invitations have been sent to the heads of states and their replies are yet to be received," an official source told news agency ANI in December last year.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi had visited all five Central Asian countries in 2015. The decision to invite Central Asian leaders as chief guests in the Republic Day parade was being taken to strengthen diplomatic ties and promote connectivity for these five nations via the Chabahar port that is being constructed by India in Iran.
Further, out of the approximately 24,000 people who will be attending the parade this year, 19,000 would be invited and the rest would be the general public, who can purchase tickets, PTI sources said.
All COVID-19 protocols will be followed at the parade. Social distancing norms would be followed while making the seating arrangements, they mentioned, adding sanitiser dispensers will be available everywhere and wearing masks would be compulsory.
Meanwhile, the Delhi Police on Saturday issued a traffic advisory ahead of the Republic Day Parade rehearsal. The advisory stated that the rehearsals shall be held on Raj Path on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday from Vijay Chowk to India Gate.
(With inputs from PTI)