The Republic Day Parade in the state will return to Shivaji Park a year after it was shifted to Marine Drive by the previous Congress-NCP government. A 2,000-strong police force will secure the parade on Monday morning, which will be attended by Governor Vidyasagar Rao, Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis and his Cabinet.
The Congress-NCP government had broken the 35-year-old practice of hosting the Republic Day Celebrations at Shivaji Park. It was reportedly done as the government was keen on raising the level of Republic day celebrations in the city and allowing Mumbaikars to witness the grandeur of a Republic Day parade.
The BJP government, however, decided that the parade would be held at Shivaji Park this year. The function will be limited to a flag-hoisting ceremony and march-past by the state police. There will, however, be heightened police presence and security in view of intelligence inputs about possible attacks in the country.
“We have deployed 1,500 officers and constables from the city police. They will be assisted by the State Reserve Police Force, Quick Response Teams and the Bomb Detection and Disposal Squad,” said Dhananjay Kulkarni, Deputy Commissioner of Police (Crime).
In addition, Shivaji Park has also been declared a no-flying zone and no-parking zone.
“Traffic restrictions have also been placed on all roads leading to Shivaji Park. Designated parking zones have been created in the park for all VIPs attending the parade,” said Mahesh Patil, Deputy Commissioner of Police (Zone V).
He added that invitations for the parade had been sent to nearly 1,500 people. “Entry into the park will be only on the basis of the invitation card. We expect around 1,000 people to be in attendance on Monday,” Patil said.
The CM will also launch the state government’s web grievance portal ‘Aaple Sarkar’ on Republic Day. The portal will provide a public grievances redressal mechanism. It will also serve as an interface to share ideas and get attention of the government on administrative and policy issues.