BHUBANESWAR: Odisha will celebrate the 75th Independence Day on Sunday in a subdued manner without public participation in view of the Covid-19 pandemic. While Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik will unfurl the National Flag at the Capital City, other ministers will hoist the Tricolour at district headquarters. The Revenue Divisional Commissioners (RDCs) and Collectors will hoist the flag at 11 districts.
Only a limited number of guests have been invited to the State-level celebrations and the guests include 20 Covid warriors, doctors, health and sanitation workers. No march past or parade will be organised anywhere this year except at State Capital. Only three battalions will be taking part in the State-level parade. No student groups have been included in the parade this year. The Information and Public Relations department will provide the live feed for telecast and webcasting of the event.
According to Home department circular, Commerce and Transport Minister Padmanabha Behera will hoist the National Flag in Cuttack, while Minister for Food Supplies and Consumer Welfare Ranendra Pratap Swain will unfurl the flag in Puri. Similarly, Finance Minister Niranjan Pujari and Forest and Environment Minister Bikram Keshari Arukha will hoist the National flag in Bargarh and Kandhamal respectively.
However, the flag will be hoisted at Berhampur, Rourkela, Khurda, Bhadrak, Boudh, Deogarh, Dhenkanal, Jharsuguda, Kendrapara, Jagatsinghpur, Jajpur, Rayagada and Nayagarh either by the RDCs or collectors. The State government has relaxed the weekend shutdown imposed in Bhubaneswar, Cuttack and Puri towns on August 15 till 11 am to allow the citizens to unfurl the flag on their premises subject to the condition that not more than 10 persons will congregate at any place.
In other places, the flags can be unfurled with participation of not more than 20 persons. Independence Day will also be celebrated in offices other than the State and district level functions with a similar ceiling on attendance. Security has been tightened in the State Capital and 12 platoons of police force and traffic personnel will be deployed to ensure smooth passage of Independence Day celebrations.