GUWAHATI: The intense enjoyment attached to the installation of the 120X80 sq ft National Flag hoisted atop Sarania Hill near Gandhi Mandap in Guwahati has gone awry with the tricolor seen to have torn within 35 days of its ceremonial unfurling. A probe into the incident has been initiated.
The Rs 2.91-crore project was of the State Industries and Commerce department that entrusted Guwahati Smart City Limited (GSCL) for its implementation. It was on Tuesday night when the edge of the National flag was seen torn. The length of the pole of the Tricolour is 319.5 feet.
The National Flag was hoisted on October 2, 2018 by Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal. It is the highest National Flag in the country with respect to the average elevation of the city. Considering only the height of the Flag Pole, it is ranked third highest in the country.
Officials of the implementing agency, GSCL, rushed to the spot soon after the torn tricolour came into its notice.
In a statement, GSCL has said that it has initiated necessary corrective measures and informed Bajaj Electricals Limited. Bajaj Electricals Limited is the contractor company for the installation and maintenance of the project at Gandhi Mandap in the city.
A local team is attending to the issue and considering the sheer size and magnitude of the flag and the height of the structure which requires considerable work under expert supervision. It says that the flag with a dimension of 120 X 80 sq feet and weighing approximately half a tonne requires careful handling. It says that a team of experts from Bajaj Electricals Limited is on its way to Guwahati.
After lowering the National Flag under expert supervision, Bajaj Electricals Limited will immediately take up necessary maintenance work of the pole and its components, which also includes repainting of the pole, GSCL says. GSCL previously acquired an additional ten spare flags for such unforeseen natural eventualities. The damaged flag will be taken down. Corrective maintenance work is tentatively scheduled to finish within a week considering the size of the structure, after which a new flag will be hoisted. According to Bajaj Electricals Limited representatives, wear and tear in such high-mast installation is observed sometimes owing to high wind velocity and pressure at that height. The flag pole and the structure continue to be completely safe.
Meanwhile, an inquiry by Guwahati Development Department (GDD) Principal Secretary Maninder Singh has been initiated into the incident.