West Bengal celebrated the 66th Independence Day with Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee hoisting the tricolour at the Indira Gandhi Sarani in a departure from the traditional venue near Writers Buildings since 1948.
Shifting the venue to Indira Gandhi Sarani (near Eden Gardens, Victoria Memorial), where the Republic Day celebrations take place, meant that people could line that road and watch the parade -- like they do on January 26.
Banerjee took the salute at a colourful combined march past of the Kolkata and state police, besides the Rapid Action Force, Eastern Frontier Rifles, the Central Industrial Securities Force, Mounted Police, Fire Brigade and personnel of security agencies. Tableaux representing various state government departments, including micro and small-scale industries, stole the show.
Hundreds of school children also took part in the march past.
Members of the cabinet, consular corps, defence personnel and senior state and central government officials were present at the function.
Elaborate security arrangements were made at the Indira Gandhi Sarani with intelligence personnel of the Kolkata police keeping vigil with sniffer dogs.