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Tallest tricolour nowhere to be seen

DH News Service, Chandigarh, Dec 8 2017, 0:07 IST
India and Pakistan had engaged in a tug-of-war of sorts to see who could put up the tallest flag.

India and Pakistan had engaged in a tug-of-war of sorts to see who could put up the tallest flag.

India's largest tricolour on the tallest flag post at a whopping 360 feet close to the international border with Pakistan in Amritsar is nowhere to be seen, even 10 months after it was unfurled for the first time.

Neighbouring Pakistan appears to have scored in the "flag war", having managed to keep its national flag, hoisted on its Independence Day this year, afloat at a greater height of 400 feet, not far away from the Indian flag post.

Authorities entrusted with the task of maintaining the country's largest tricolour, over 98 feet higher than the Qutab Minar in Delhi, have now decided to use parachute fabric for the flag to prevent it from damage, sources said.

The tricolour is visible from Lahore in Pakistan, which is just about 20-km from the Attari-Wagah border.

Ever since March this year, the tricolour was brought down at least eight times due to damage.

The fabric used for the flag could not withstand the high wind velocity at that altitude, which is why every time it got torn, the flag had to be brought down as per norms.

Sources said rules have now been amended for monumental flags which will provide them with the option to use a stronger fabric, like the one used for parachutes.

Authorities said they spent over Rs 7 lakh to replace the flag every time it got damaged.

Eventually, it was decided not to hoist the flag until a lasting solution to the problem was found. The tricolour is now likely to be hoisted by the end of the year with a new fabric.

The upkeep of the monumental flag is being outsourced to a private player for a year. The flag measures 36 meters in length and 24 meters in width.

Pakistan had earlier raised concerns over the massive height of India's flag so close to its border highlighting security and surveillance issues. It responded by putting an even taller flag on its soil close to the Indian side.

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