I-Day flag campaign over, collection drives begin for safe disposal of Tricolour
Officials said that municipal corporation-run helplines have received calls from residents inquiring about proper methods to dispose of the Tricolour, while zonal offices said they have received a few damaged pieces
Days after the 75th anniversary of India’s Independence on Monday, when several households across the Capital put the Tricolour up in their homes, civic officials and Delhi residents said they are working to ensure that national flags are collected and disposed of with care, in line with the country’s Flag Code, a mammoth task given that around civic and state authorities alone distributed over 45 million flags around the city.
Officials said that municipal corporation-run helplines have received calls from residents inquiring about proper methods to dispose of the Tricolour, while zonal offices said they have received a few damaged pieces.
An official of the Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD) said residents deposited 160 damaged flags on Tuesday.
“These are flags people found damaged or on the street and attempted to contact the MCD helpline for its proper disposal. If citizens spot such a flag, they should let us know,” the official said.
The Flag Code of India, 2002, mandates that the Tricolour must not be simply disposed of along with municipal waste, but need to be buried or burnt as a whole in private in a method that is consistent with the dignity of the flag.
Civic staff will help residents dispose of a Tricolour, a senior MCD official said.
“Residents can deposit the national flag, with the help of their area sanitation inspector, in the zonal office for its collection, storage and disposal according to provisions of the Flag Code,” said the official.
“Residents can directly contact sanitary inspectors and sanitation workers on their cellphone by visiting the MCD website,” the official added.
According to the Flag Code, while there is no restriction on display of the national flag by members of the general public, private organisations, educational institutions, etc, there are clear guidelines on the manner in which they can be hoisted and the dignified manner in which they have to be disposed of.
Section 2.2 (xiii) and Section 3.25 of the code state that when the flag is damaged or dishevelled, it shall be destroyed as a whole in private, preferably by burning or by any method consistent with the dignity of flag.
In no case, can a damaged or torn flag be allowed to remain on display and it should not be cast aside or disrespectfully disposed of, the code states.
On Tuesday, Delhi lieutenant governor Vinai Kumar Saxena asked residents of the city to honour the national flag.
“Delhi put up an exemplary show of patriotic fervour by colouring the city in the hue of the Tiranga. I request you to honour the Tricolor and dispose of it with the dignity it deserves. MCD and NDMC [New Delhi Municipal Council] have set up collection centres for this purpose. You are requested to contact and utilise them,” he tweeted.
Resident welfare bodies also said they were working with state and civic authorities to ensure flags are treated with respect. However, some added that many residents continue to display flags in and around their homes, so the disposal numbers are likely to rise only in the days to come.
Atul Goyal, who heads the United Residents Joint Action (URJA), a civil society initiative, said the body has issued a helpline to facilitate the collection of flags, with the help of Chintan, an NGO.
“We have started receiving calls on our helpline numbers and RWAs are being told to carry out collections at the colony level so that resources can be optimally utilised,” Goyal said.
A release by URJA asked people to stop flying the Tiranaga if it gets soiled or damaged.
“RWAs must collect the used flags from homes and public areas and store them with dignity. When flags are collected, they can call our helpline,” the advisory said.
A Chintan official operating the helpline said they have received 25 such requests and people have been advised to collect flags in neighbouring areas. “Once 10-15 houses have been covered, we will send a vehicle to ensure its safe disposal,” said the official, who asked not to be named.
In some cases, RWAs said they will collect flags and store them to ensure they can be reused during national festivals.
Sanjay Rana general secretary of the Greater Kailash-2 RWA said people have not yet started removing Tricolours.
“We will start a door-to-door collection drive from Wednesday. We will try to retain all the quality ones and repair the torn ones,” he added.
Gurpreet Bindra, president of the Vasant Vihar RWA said they have informed residents about an arrangement with MCD for the proper storage of the flags.
“MCD has also shared a helpline for depositing the flags at zonal office. We will treat all these flags with dignity,” he added.