A large number of people may be forced to watch the Republic Day parade on their television sets this year.
The defence ministry has decided to reduce the number of Republic Day tickets — from 32,000 to 19,000— to be sold to the general public this year.
The ministry’s move is aimed at limiting the number of people present at the yearly parade that will have US President Barack Obama as its chief guest.
Officials said the tickets for unreserved seats had nearly been sold out. Tickets for the reserved section too is less than the number of takers.
This has led to a tussle over the remaining seats with people trickling in with recommendations and special requests.
“The number of tickets being given out is around 19,000 this year. It has been reduced due to security reasons. The total number of ticketed seats was nearly 32,000 last time,” said a ministry official.
Till the last R-Day, the tickets were available in four categories, for ` 10, ` 50, ` 150 and ` 300. But there are no tickets available for ` 150 this year.
“Only about 10-15% of them are available. The number of reserved seats, for which tickets cost ` 300, are around 3,000,” the official said.
The venue along Rajpath has a total seating capacity of 1.11 lakh people across 35 enclosures, which include seating arrangements for dignitaries and guests.
Last year, the ministry issued person-specific tickets for the reserved seats, which means tickets cannot be transferred.