The National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) plans to install the country’s tallest flag, at 418 feet, on the Wagah-Attari border in Punjab, rekindling a flag war with Pakistan.
The NHAI has hired a contractor after getting the approval from the central and the state governments, an NHAI official said, as per a report by the Hindustan Times, and while the location of the flag is yet to be decided, the official said that so far there were no plans to remove the current flag. The work is likely to be completed in a month, the official added.
The current 360-foot-high flag was installed in March 2017 at a cost of Rs 3.5 crore, after Pakistan hoisted a taller flag at the Wagah checkpoint that same year. The new Tricolour will be 18 feet longer than the current Pakistani flag.
According to reports, the NHAI, which is carrying out beautification and plantation work outside the Swarna Jayanti Dwar of the joint check-post (JCP) in Attari near the zero line, wrote to the Union home ministry in 2021 requesting permission to increase the height. “We have approved the contract and the work for the flag’s installation will begin probably in 15-20 days. The location of installing the flag is not yet decided, but as per the suggestion of Border Security Force (BSF) officials, it is most likely to be nearer the spectators’ gallery of the joint check post (JCP). The present Indian flag is not properly visible to the people coming for witnessing the Beating Retreat ceremony due to the height of the gallery’s building,” the NHAI official told Hindustan Times.
“So far they have no plan to replace or remove the present flag. The decision regarding the replacement or removal may be taken after the new flag is set up. The work of the project is likely to be completed in one month,” he said.
NHAI’s engineering division is in charge. Sunil Yadav, the project director, will supervise the project work, according to Yogesh Yadav. “Once installed, the new flag will be the tallest in India,” he said.
“Many spectators had been demanding to increase the height of our national flag, which looks smaller than the Pakistani flag. With the installation of the new flag, spectators will have no complaint, but a cheerful mood,” a BSF official who wished to remain unnamed, was quoted as saying in the report.
The NHAI has been working on beautifying the Punjab border, which attracts tourists from all over the world. Two selfie stations were recently installed, and spectators can also watch the daily military drill at the border on large screens.
The tallest Indian flagpole currently stands at 361 feet in Belagavi or Belgaum Fort in Kote Kere, Karnataka.