The stage is set for the 67 Independence Day celebrations at the Field Marshal Manekshaw Parade Grounds here.

To ensure that the celebrations are held without any hitch, the city police have put in place elaborate security arrangements. This time, arrangements have been made to accommodate an additional 2,000 people and there will be a total of 12,000 seats available for VVIPs, VIPs, Defence personnel, freedom fighters, government officials and the general public.

Bruhat Bangalore Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) Commissioner M. Lakshminarayan, who is also the chairman of the Independence Day Celebrations Committee, said preparations taken up jointly by the civic body, city police and the office of Deputy Commissioner (Bangalore Urban) began around 25 days ago.

Rehearsals were being held at the parade grounds for the past three days. The celebrations will see participation by around 2,600 schoolchildren. He said that on Thursday, August 15, Chief Minister Siddaramaiah will arrive at the parade grounds at 8.58 a.m. and hoist the National Flag at 9 a.m. An IAF helicopter will shower flower petals during the flag hoisting.

As many as 56 contingents, including those from police, Bharat Scouts and Guides, National Cadet Corps, Home Guards and Seva Dal, will be participating in the march past and receive the guard of honour from Mr. Siddaramaiah. This will be followed by cultural programmes by schoolchildren.

Mr. Lakshminarayan said that on-site and off-site disaster management cells have been set up to prevent any untoward incidents. There will be 20 ambulances on site with 50 doctors, 40 nurses, 10 pharmacists, 40 drivers/ assistants and 10 gangmen. Around 120 beds have been reserved in 28 hospitals.

Kamal Pant, Additional Commissioner of Police (Law and Order), said that 1,200 police personnel, including two Additional Commissioners of Police, three Joint Commissioners of Police and nine Deputy Commissioners of Police, have been posted on security duty. There will be 23 door-frame metal detectors and 85 hand-held metal detectors to screen those attending the celebrations. As many as 40 CCTV cameras have also been installed around the parade ground.

He urged all those attending the I-Day programme to come at least one hour early and cooperate with the police, who will frisk them at the gates. He also said that no helmets, bags, umbrellas and crackers will be allowed inside the grounds. The passholders should bring with them identity cards, he added.

As many as 2,000 seats have been reserved for VVIPs and defence personnel (entry from Gate One); 2,000 seats for dignitaries and government officials (entry from Gates Two and Three); 3,500 seats for freedom fighters, retired defence personnel, BSF personnel (entry from Gates Four, Five, Six, Seven and Eight); and 4,000 seats for the general public (entry from Gates Nine and 10).

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