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The actual ground-level situation at the Gandhi Mandap being contrasted with the (top right inset) project as envisaged. (Sentinel)
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Tallest National Flag worth Rs 2.58 cr to be erected at Gandhi Mandap, Guwahati on 15 August

306-ft-tall National Flag atop Gandhi Mandap

STAFF REPORTER

GUWAHATI, July 29: Dispur’s plan to keep the National Flag fluttering from Gandhi Mandap atop the Sarania Hill in Guwahati from August 15 this year may go awry. There is something amiss about the timeline. If this mission misses the bus, the agility of Guwahati Smart City Limited (GSCL) may come under question.

With a view to creating a place of pride, Dispur has proposed to install a 306-feet-tall monumental flagpole with a flag size of 120 feet x 80 feet at a budget cost of Rs 2.65 crore at the location in Guwahati, now being projected as the Gateway to South-East Asia. The gigantic flag is supposed to flutter from August 15 this year. However, delay in the project puts a question mark – will the National Flag be ready by this August 15 after it missed the previously fixed commissioning date in May this year?
The State Industries Department awarded the prestigious project to the GSCL for its implementation. The GSCL gave the job of erection of the 306-feet-tall flagpole with the 120 feet x 80 feet flag to Bajaj Electrical Ltd (BEL). The company was supposed to complete the project by May this year.

It, however, missed the bus. The flagpole was supposed to arrive in Guwahati from Pune by June this year so that the project could be completed in July.
When contacted, the eastern region head of Bajaj Electrical Ltd, B Dasgupta said that “the GSCL handed over the project to BEL only in June and the BEL completed the foundation work of the flag pillar in July.”

Adding that “the work for the flag pole was given to BEL only in July”, Dasgupta stated: “The consignment of poles imported from Pune arrived Guwahati yesterday.”

Dwelling on the parameter of the pole, Dasgupta said: “The flagpole will be 306 feet (93.269 metres) in height. The basement for the flagpole will be seven metres with five metres under the ground.”

Dasgupta however said that work on the podium and the aviation light is to be taken up shortly. “We are confident that the entire project would be completed before August 15,” Dasgupta pointed out.

A GSCL official talking to The Sentinel said: “It does not take much time to erect the pole. We had to seek a fresh permission from the Airport Authority of India (AAI) from Borjhar as the foundation is two feet more than the prescribed height.”

The proposed flagpole, if erected, will also serve as an additional landmark and a tourist’s spot for the people visiting Guwahati. The flag will be illuminated in the night by suitable lighting arrangement.
However, the ground-level work is yet to be completed, and the flag pole spot still to be erected. With just 17 days left for the Independence Day, there are doubts arising as to whether the prestigious project would be completed in due time.