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India’s flag of pride on Pakistan border becomes flag of embarrassment

The 360-ft high flag near Indo-Pak border at Attari, repeatedly damaged due to wind, was taken off by Amritsar admn in April and has not been hoisted again ever since.

punjab Updated: Jul 31, 2017 22:05 IST
Usmeet Kaur
Usmeet Kaur
Hindustan Times, Amritsar
India’s tallest Tricolour,Attari,Indo-Pak border
The 360-ft flag pole near the India-Pakistan border at Attari has been damaged three times so far. (HT File )

Hoisted with much fanfare, India’s tallest Tricolour which was fluttering at a height of 360 ft near the India-Pakistan border at Attari has been out of sight for the past three months. The flag, which was repeatedly damaged due to high-velocity wind that flows at high altitude, was taken off by the Amritsar administration in April this year and has not been hoisted again ever since.

Amritsar deputy commissioner (DC) Kamaldeep Singh Sangha has even written to the state home department and the local bodies ministry, pointing out that every time the tallest Indian flag — visible from the Pakistan side — is torn and brought down, it brings “embarrassment” to all.

The Punjab home department is still struggling to find out a solution for the repeated damage to the flag due to wind.

City flag also taken off

Besides the Tricolour at the border, the administration has also taken off 170-feet high flag at Ranjit Avenue area in Amritsar, as it too got torn 13 times. The administration is now gearing up for celebrating the Independence Day. Though only 15 days are left, yet the solution to the flag problem has not been found.

When contacted, Amritsar MP Gurjeet Singh Aujla told HT that he would instruct the administration to ensure that the flag should be hoisted on August 15. “The flag would be hoisted, even if for a day. If there is any hitch, it can be pulled down again.”

‘Will speak to Sidhu’

MP Aujla said, “I would speak to local bodies minister Navjot Singh Sidhu and I am sure we all will soon find a solution. I would be taking up the matter with the Centre too and suggest reducing the height of the flag.”

He said that reducing height and finding an appropriate wind-resistant material for the flag will solve the problem.

Cost of patriotism too high

The Amritsar improvement trust, which is responsible for the upkeep of the two flags, has replaced both of them time and again, bearing huge expenses. The 360-ft flag at the border has torn off three times. The 170-ft flag at Ranjit Avenue has torn off 13 times.

Trust officials said a total of around Rs 9 lakh have been spent on the flag at the Ranjit Avenue and another Rs 6 lakh on the Tricolour at the border.

First Published: Jul 31, 2017 09:41 IST