The national Capital has been put under a security blanket as the country celebrates its 68th Independence Day on Friday.
A massive ground-to-air security apparatus has been put in place, especially around Red Fort, where Prime Minister Narendra Modi will unfurl the Tricolour and deliver his maiden Independence Day speech.
Thirty thousand Delhi Police personnel and paramilitary forces have been deployed around the city. Around 5,000 armed security personnel have been deployed near Red Fort.
A special security apparatus will be put in place on the routes taken by the PM’s cavalcade from his residence to Red Fort.
Security agencies were constantly reviewing arrangements at Red Fort and were in the process of zeroing in on ‘safety houses’ where the prime minister and other leaders can be taken in case of any eventuality.
A no-fly zone will put in place around Red Fort.
Intense vigil will be maintained on key installations like Parliament complex, international airport, railway stations, ISBTs and metro stations.
Expecting a gathering of around 10,000 people at Red Fort, the Delhi Traffic Police have made elaborate traffic arrangements across the city, especially in areas close to the venue.
The traffic police will close some arterial roads from 5 am to 9 am on Friday. Only labelled vehicles will be allowed to use such roads.
Anil Shukla, Joint CP (traffic), said the public should avoid Tilak Marg, Mathura Road, BSZ Marg, Subhash Marg, JLNN Marg and Ring Road between Nizammuddin Bridge and ISBT bridge.
For people travelling from south to north Delhi and vice-versa, alternative routes have been suggested.
“They can use the Aurobindo Marg-Safdarjang Road-Mother Teresa Crescent-Park Street-Mandir Marg-Panchkuian Road- Rani Jhansi Road route and vice-versa,” the advisory said.
Another alternative route is Connaught Place-Minto Road-Bhavbhuti Marg-Ajmere Gate-Shradhanand Marg-Lahori Gate Chowk-Naya Bazar-Peeli Kothi- SP Mukherjee Marg to reach north Delhi from south Delhi and vice versa.
Shukla adding adequate signages had been displayed at all important traffic junctions for guidance.
Metro at 4.30 am
Those who want to attend Independence Day celebrations at Red Fort can avail of free metro ride.
Delhi Metro services will start as early as 4:30 am on Friday and complimentary travel coupons will be provided to commuters from all stations to Kashmere Gate and Chandni Chowk.
Entry and exit from all stations will be as per usual schedule and no restrictions will be imposed. Trains will also run as per schedule, starting from 4:30 am.
Metro parking lots will, however, remain closed till 2 pm on Friday.
(With PTI inputs)