India on Sunday hoisted a 360-foot tall flag, the tallest in the country, at the Attari border with Pakistan. The flag, authorities have said, is high enough to be spotted from Pakistan’s Lahore city located just miles away from the border crossing. A 293-foot high tricolour in Jharkhand's Ranchi was the tallest flag before this was hoisted.
The flag has been installed on a 110-meter high mast. It is 120-foot long, 80-foot wide and weighs around 55 tonnes. It was hoisted by Bharatiya Janata Party leader and Punjab government Minister for Local Bodies, Medical Education & Research Anil Joshi. The Punjab government has invested around Rs 3.50 crore on this project and the contract to maintain this flag has been given to a private company.
Pakistan has objected to the installation of the flag close to the international border, saying that the structure could be used to spy on them. Pakistan rangers, which is a border patrolling body similar to India’s Border Security Force (BSF), has conveyed its displeasure to the Indian side.
India has rejected Pakistan’s claim, saying that the structure has not violated any international treaties as it has been constructed 200 meters before the zero line. "It is our national flag and nobody can stop us from hoisting it on our soil," said Anil Joshi.
The flag will be an attraction for tourists who visit the Attari-Wagah international border to watch the joint beating-the-retreat ceremony that is held every evening. BSF is also planning to expand the capacity of the visitor’s gallery at the border from just 7000 seats to over 20,000.
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