Amritsar: A 360-foot-high (110 metres) flag post, said to be the country's tallest, was inaugurated on Sunday at the Indo-Pak Attari Border.
Punjab state minister Anil Joshi inaugurated the flag post, atop which a Tricolour was hoisted. The post is 24 metres wide, and weighs 55 tonnes.
Built at an approximate cost of Rs 3.50 crore, the post was a project by the Amritsar Improvement Trust Authority, part of the Punjab government.
"With the model code of conduct for the Assembly elections being in place in the state, the minister got special permission from Election Commission for the inauguration," officials said.
The flag post, installed at the border, became an attraction for thousands of tourists who had reached there to watch the daily beating retreat ceremony at sunset.
Even visitors from the Pakistan side of the border were seen watching the Indian flag with keen interest. The pole is said to be tall enough to be visible from Lahore, almost 24 kms away.
Before the Attari flag post came up, the country's tallest was in Ranchi, Jharkhand. Amritsar already has a 170-foot high flag post, in the Ranjit Avenue Public Park. The original plan was to hoist the Tricolour at the new Attari post on Republic Day on 26 January, but it was delayed due to technical reasons. Speaking to media persons, Joshi called it his "dream project" and was happy to have it become reality.
However, not everybody is happy with this installation. Pakistan has already raised concerns on the issue. Deccan Herald on Saturday reported that the Pakistan Rangers, during a recent meeting with the Border Security Force (BSF), expressed concerns over such a tall structure being installed just 200 metres from such a critical international border.
Islamabad's concerns are regarding security and surveillance issues. The BSF, however, is learnt to have discounted the apprehensions as unfounded, according to the report.
However, according to India Today, Indian authorities had made it clear that the flat was being installed 200 metres before the zero line and thus was not a violation in any manner. "Not to my knowledge. It is our national flag and nobody can stop us from hoisting it on our soil," Joshi was quoted by the report as saying.
With inputs from PTI
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Updated Date: Mar 06, 2017 10:55:27 IST