The 110 m tall flag post at Kote Kere is near the historic Belagavi fort
It was a joyous morning in Belagavi on Monday. Schoolchildren, NGO members, leaders and others gathered at the Kote Kere lake front to witness a unique celebration: the unfurling of what is claimed to be the country’s tallest national flag.
The 9,600 sq.ft flag on a 110 m flag pole was unfurled by Ramesh Jarkiholi, District in-charge Minister.
Religious leaders of Hindu, Muslim, Christian and Sikh institutions were present. MLA Firoz Sait, who has been pushing for the project, was present along with other district officials.
Mr. Jarkiholi said the flag was a testimony to the culture of harmony and togetherness of Belagavi. “BJP is not the sole custodian of nationalism. We are all proud Indians. We respect the principles of unity and harmony enshrined in the Constitution. India is a country of many faiths and all are equal here,” he said.
Mr. Sait observed that various religious and social and cultural groups had flags of different colours, but the national flag symbolised the cultural unity of all. He described this as a historic day and said the people of Belagavi had one more reason to be proud of their city.
Deputy Commissioner S. Ziyaullah, Police Commissioner D.C. Rajappa, ZP CEO R. Ramachandran, City Corporation Commissioner Shashidhar Kurer, Maratha Light Infantry regimental centre officers, and others were present.
The 110 m tall flag post at Kote Kere is near the historic Belagavi fort in the city. It is taller than the post in Pune (107 m) and the one at the Indo-Pak border at Attari (105 m).
“The monumental flag will be flown at all times, and will be well-lit at night. It should be seen by residents of Belagavi from afar and remain visible at all times,” Mr. Sait said.
The flag is made of weatherproof Denier polyester fabric. Two shorter poles with flood lights have been erected around the flag.
Following a judgment of the High Court of Bilaspur in 2010, the Union Home Ministry allows the flying of national flags beyond sunset. However, these flags are considered monumental flags and special permissions are issued on a case by case basis. The Union government has issued a permission for the Belagavi monumental flag.
The Belagavi City Corporation has completed the work under the Chief Minister’s special grant. The flag post is 2 m in diameter at the base and 0.6 m at the top. It has a three horsepower motor to raise the flag to the top.
A park will come up in 1.5 acres around the flag. A committee comprising citizens, district administration, revenue, police and cantonment board officials will be formed to manage the park.
Earlier, the plan was to erect the flag post on an island in the centre of the lake. However, the soil there proved unstable for such a tall structure. Hence, it was shifted to the bank, an officer said.
Officers are keeping five flags on standby. “Khadi fabric could not be used for the flag as looms cannot produce a flag of that size and the flag code does not allow stitching of small pieces,” a city corporation engineer working on the project, told The Media.
Officials have got Civil Aviation Ministry’s permission to fly the flag that within 25 km of the Sambra airport. A red light is affixed on top of the post to indicate its height to pilots.