CHENNAI:The 69th Republic Day was celebrated on Thursday with fervour in the State capital with Governor Banwarilal Purohit unfurling the Tricolour on Marina and Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami presenting State awards on the occasion.
Braving the cold weather, a large number of people witnessed the Republic Day parade on the seafront.
The celebrations were marked by tight security arrangements and display of might by three Armed Forces, various wings of State police and their ceremonial march past, carnival of students from various schools and colleges, traditional cultural programmes and pageantry of floats by various State government departments.
Around 8 am, the Governor and the Chief Minister drove past the invitees’ enclosure and exchanged Republic Day greetings with the public.
When the governor unfurled the Tricolour at the saluting base, a low-flying IAF helicopter showered rose petals. The governor also took the salute of 47 contingents including the Army, Navy and Air Force, Central Reserve Police Force, CISF, RPF, Chennai City Police, Mounted Police, Tamil Nadu Commando Force, Coastal Security Group and Tamil Nadu Fire and Rescue Services.
The Chief Minister presented Anna Medal for Gallantry, Kottai Ameer award for communal harmony and the special award to a farmer who had obtained highest yield in the State during 2016-17. Cultural programmes included Siddhi Dhamal dance of Gujarat, Bangra dance of Punjab, Dollu Kunitha dance of Karnataka and Karagattam of TN.
During the carnival of students from schools and colleges, they danced to a song composed by poet Subramania Bharati. As many as 16 floats highlighted the various welfare schemes of the AIADMK government and one float was devoted to the centenary celebrations of the late CM M G Ramachandran.
Deputy Chief Minister O Panneerselvam, Assembly Speaker P Dhanapal, Deputy Speaker V Jayaraman, State ministers, judges of Madras High Court, diplomats from consulates of various countries, MPs and MLAs took part in the Republic Day celebrations.Earlier, the Governor paid tributes to the martyrs at Victory War Memorial, in the presence of senior officials of armed forces.
Highlighting govt scheme
As many as 16 floats highlighted the various welfare schemes of the AIADMK government and one float was devoted to the centenary celebrations of the late CM M G Ramachandran
Special award for highest paddy yield per hectare
R Munusamy of Kullanur village, Virupatchipuram, Dharmapuri district, received the special award from the State Agriculture department for obtaining highest yield - 18,184.4 kg of paddy per hectare - under System of Rice Intensification method. The award carries `5 lakh and a medal. After receiving the award, Munusamy said that normally districts with good rainfall used to get this award and this year, he had beaten that record and achieved highest yield in a drought-prone district. He also explained how he strictly adhered to the suggestions made by Agriculture department officials. Water management was done through alternate wetting and drying. He sprayed Neem seed kernel extract twice to control pests and sprayed ‘Panchakavya’ five times, due to which he got bold grains.
Kottai Ameer Communal Harmony Award
Kottai Ameer Communal Harmony Award was presented to I Sadiq Basha of Tiruvannamalai for rendering service for communal and social harmony in Tiruvannamalai and surrounding areas. He has organised many communal harmony symposia. In 2014, he assisted police in settling a communal issue between two communities at Tiruvannamalai. In 2017, when a dispute arose between people of two localities, he assisted in settling the row amicably.
Anna Medal for Gallantry
K Shanmugam, constable, Railway Protection Force, Egmore Railway Station, Chennai received Anna Medal for Gallantry. On July 16, 2017, a 30-year-old male passenger attempted to board an unreserved compartment of the Dadar Express in motion, but accidentally slipped in between the train and the platform. Shanmugam who was duty, without caring for his life swung into action immediately and rescued the passenger by lifting him swiftly.
Five personnel receive Gandhi Adigal Police Medal
This year, five police personnel received Gandhi Adigal Police Medal for their outstanding work in curtailing illicit liquor. The award carries `40,000, a medal and grant. S Kannan, Additional Superintendent, Thanjavur, G Ramakrishnan, Sub-Inspector, Central investigation Unit, Salem, G Narayanan, Head Constable, Ponnai police, Vellore, I Joseph, Head Constable, Villupuram and G Narayanan, Grade-I Constable, Pazhavanthangal police, Greater Chennai Police, received the award.