In view of the outbreak of COVID-19, the Odisha government has decided to keep the Independence Day celebration a low-key affair by not organising parade or march past this year.
A letter written by the Home Department to the district collectors said, the state government is in favour of discouraging large gatherings to contain the spread of the disease.
In a meeting chaired by Chief Secretary A K Tripathy on Monday, it was decided that participation of the general public would be restricted during the Independence Day celebration.
Around 50 to 75 guests may be invited to the celebration using e-invites, the letter said. The guests should include around 15 to 20 COVID-19 warriors, it said.
"Only one or two police contingent to participate in the ceremony for offering compliments to the Chief Guest during the celebration. There will be no parade/march past,"the letter said.
It is imperative that social distancing norms and mask wearing are to be followed strictly by those attending the function, it said. The venue must be well sanitised and a hand sanitiser available at the entrance. Tree plantations and online essay/quiz contests may be held to mark the occasion. The letter also said that similar procedures should be followed at block and gram panchayat levels.
On July 24, Governor Ganeshi Lal had said he would not host the 'At Home' party on the occasion of Independence Day this year.