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Hoisted at 170 ft, national flag ‘disappears’ 14th time in 2 years in Amritsar

The flag is hoisted with great pomp and show, but is either damaged or just flies away very so often; strong winds, fabric quality, even pollution are cited as possible reasons. Amritsar Improvement Trust has spent around Rs 10 lakh on the flags since 2015.

punjab Updated: Aug 31, 2017 00:44 IST
Usmeet Kaur
Usmeet Kaur
Hindustan Times, Amritsar
Tricolour,Indian flag,tallest flag
To date, the Amritsar Improvement Trust (AIT) that is responsible for the hoisting and the maintenance of the flag at the location has spent around Rs 10 lakh. (HT File)

Keeping the nation’s flag flying high has proved to be quite a challenge for the administration and the Amritsar Improvement Trust. Over the past two years, 14 national flags have either been damaged or blown away from its height of 170 feet at Amrit Anand Park, adjoining the national highway 1. The latest flag, hoisted on August 14 this year lasted only two weeks.

To date, the Amritsar Improvement Trust (AIT) that is responsible for the hoisting and the maintenance of the flag at the location has spent around Rs 10 lakh. Each flag measures around 2,400 square feet (60 feet length by 40 feet breadth). When flying, the flag is visible from a distance of 60km.

What causes the damage

The AIT has not deputed a team of experts to maintain the flag or study the reasons for the damage, but experts compiled a list of reasons for the cause.

These include strong winds, wear-and-tear of the fabric due to the weather, high levels of pollution and continuous rains.

The 170-foot pole at Amrit Anand Park in Amritsar stands without its flag on Wednesday. ( Sameer Sehgal/HT )

Possible solutions

Officers with the AIT told HT that for a flag to be hoisted at 170 ft, its material needs to be tough and wind-resistant. They claim that AIT chairmans in the past had written to the Flag Company of India to give it flags made of such a material. A demand has also been made to hoist the flag each morning and lower it with the last light of the day by guards, who will also be responsible for its upkeep.

“This will not honour the Flag Code, but save the fabric from damage and increase its life,” an official said.

DC wants ministry to look into matter

Amritsar deputy commissioner Kamaldeep Singh Sangha, who has written to the state home department and the local bodies ministry to look into the matter, said, “The hoisting of the flag should be done after we find a solution. Damage to the tricolour is only causing embarrassment, even as the AIT is incurring huge expenses.”

MP Gurjit Singh Aujla told that he would be taking up the matter with Punjab local bodies minister Navjot Singh Sidhu.

“I will bring the issue to the notice of the local administration. Perhaps reducing the height of the flag will help. We also need wind-resistant material,” he added.

360 ft Tricolour at Attari not hoisted for five months

The country’s tallest Tricolour, which flies at 360 ft near the India-Pakistan border at Attari, has not been hoisted for the past five months. After high-velocity winds damaged the flag repeatedly, the Amritsar administration took it down.

First Published: Aug 30, 2017 18:49 IST