Delhi fortified ahead of Republic Day

New Delhi: Around 25,000 security personnel will fan across the national capital in the run-up to the Republic Day celebrations to keep a tight vigil over the city.

Elaborate security and traffic arrangements have been made for the Republic Day parade on January 26 and its full dress rehearsal this Monday, Satyendra Garg, Joint Commissioner of Police (Traffic), told reporters here today.

"All arrangements have been made. 250 companies (25,000 personnel) from paramilitary and other state forces will be deployed besides Delhi Police personnel," he said.

Last year, around 15,000 personnel were deployed and a senior police official said the enhanced security presence is to ensure that no untoward incident take place during the celebrations. The enhanced security also comes against the backdrop of terror attack outside the Delhi High Court last September.

A massive ground-to-air security apparatus has been put in place for the parade.

Snipers will be deployed at high-rise buildings while over 160 CCTVs will keep a tight vigil on people`s movement between Rajpath and Red Fort, the route of the parade which showcases India`s military might and cultural diversity.

Mobile hit teams, anti-aircraft guns and sharpshooters of National Security Guards will be deployed at various places while paramilitary and Delhi Police commandos will keep a close watch.

A multi-layer security ring has already been put in place at Rajpath, where President Pratibha Patil will unfurl the tricolour and take the salute of marching contingents. "A special emphasis is being laid on anti-sabotage checks, access control measures and intelligence coordination. The entire route of the parade will be covered by special security and anti-terror arrangements. Elaborate air defence measures, including deployment of anti-aircraft guns, have also been taken to check intrusion of air space," the official said.

Besides the air defence measures, helicopters of the Indian Air Force will hover around Rajpath and all along the route of the parade.

Patrolling in crowded market areas has been intensified and checking and frisking in Metro, railway stations and bus terminals tightened. Security at the IGI airport was also strengthened in coordination with the CISF.

Checking and frisking have also been intensified at all entry points with police setting up barricades to keep a vigil on all those entering the capital.

No vehicles will be allowed to ply on the Rajpath from 6 pm on January 25 while vehicular movement will be affected on Tilak Marg, Bahadurshah Zafar Marg, Netaji Subhash Marg upto Red Fort from 4 am the next day.