Organising the Republic Day Parade at India Gate is an enormous task but the Defence Ministry manages to make it memorable and exclusive year after year. The Ministry is ably aided by the CPWD which takes care of logistics like chairs, barricading, decoration, ‘Salaami Manch’ etc., and other infrastructure modalities. The job begins in October each year when the CPWD issues tenders for logistics support; it spends around Rs. 1.25 crore on logistics. The most reputed tentwallah is engaged for the job. Approximately 90,000 chairs of all quality are arranged for visiting dignitaries. The CPWD and contractors have to hand over the complete India Gate site after making all stipulated arrangements to Army personnel by January 15 each year. It’s a drill. But there is another drill that is carried out without raising an eyelid. The moment the Beating Retreat is over on January 29, the contractors have to pack up and vacate India Gate by February 10 each year. This is the time when some CPWD mandarins become active. One will be surprised to know every year out of 90,000 chairs approximately 4,000 chairs and other logistic support goes missing. When gfiles enquired about this annual theft, it was disclosed that some of the lower CPWD staff run tent houses in their spare time and they shamelessly take away the chairs every year after the Republic Day parade. There is no theft report filed by contractors!