President Ram Nath Kovind will address the nation on August 14 (Friday) on the eve of 74th Independence Day, said the Rashtrapati Bhavan in a statement on Thursday.

The address will be broadcast from 7 pm onwards on the entire national network of All India Radio (AIR) and overall Doordarshan channels in Hindi, followed by the English version, it said.

The broadcast of the address in Hindi and English on Doordarshan will be followed by broadcast in regional languages by regional channels of Doordarshan, the statement added. “AIR will broadcast regional language versions at 2130 hrs on its respective regional networks,” further added the statement.

Meanwhile, multilayered security arrangements and mandatory adherence to social distancing norms are in place for the 74th Independence Day celebrations at the Mughal-era Red Fort this year. A security ring, including NSG snipers, elite SWAT commandos and kite catchers, will be placed around the Red Fort from where Prime Minister Narendra Modi will address the nation.

Over 300 cameras have been installed for security and their footage is being monitored round the clock, police said. There will be around 4,000 security personnel at the Red Fort and they will stand in adherence with social distancing norms. The security in and around railways stations has also been intensified.

“Security personnel have been deployed at railways stations and along the tracks. There will be no movement of trains from 6.45 am to 8.45 am on Independence Day on particular tracks near the Red Fort due to VVIP movement,” Deputy Commissioner of Police (Railways) Harendra Kumar Singh said.?

On Thursday morning, a full-dress rehearsal of the 74th Independence Day celebrations was held at the Red Fort. Personnel from the Army, Navy and Air Force marched across the Mughal-era structure. The security arrangements were stringent and there were traffic restrictions during the rehearsal. The Red Fort has already been closed for the public ahead of the Independence Day celebrations.

Police personnel have been asked to keep an eye on the sky to ensure that no stray kites are seen in the areas around the Red Fort. Police have also been carrying out anti-sabotage checks, visiting hotels in the vicinity in search of suspicious elements, they said. The Delhi Traffic Police had also issued an advisory for the Independence Day function at the Red Fort to ensure safe and smooth flow of vehicles across the city.

Eight roads — Netaji Subhash Marg, Lothian Road, SP Mukherjee Marg, Chandni Chowk Road, Nishad Raj Marg, Esplanade Road and it’s Link Road to Netaji Subhash Marg, Ring Road from Rajghat to ISBT and Outer Ring Road from ISBT to IP flyover — will be closed for the general public from 4 am to 10 am.

Earlier, the Delhi Police had advised invitees to refrain from attending the event it if they experienced any COVID-19 symptom in the last two weeks and did not go for a test. The police had also requested them to follow COVID-related guidelines issued by the home and health ministries during the Independence Day celebrations.

Over 350 Delhi Police personnel, who will be part of the guard of honour, have been quarantined as a precautionary measure. These personnel of the force of all ranks — from constable to deputy commissioner of police — have been quarantined at a newly built police colony in Delhi Cantonment.

Flying of sub-conventional aerial platforms like para-gliders, para-motors, hang gliders, UAVs, microlight aircraft, remotely piloted aircraft, hot air balloons, small size powered aircraft, quadcopters or para-jumping from aircraft etc. Are prohibited over the jurisdiction of National Capital Territory of Delhi up to August 15, police had said.

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