GUWAHATI, Aug 3 - With less than two weeks remaining for the people to celebrate the 73rd Independence Day, Guwahati city is now flooded with plastic flags of different sizes. This was discovered when this correspondent made a round of the wholesalers based mainly at Fancy Bazar today. This has proved that there has been a blatant violation of the law regarding the national flag.
It was found that the plastic flags are mainly available in small sizes, i.e. 6X4 inches. These flags costing anything between Rs 10 and Rs 50, have been imported from New Delhi-based factories.
It is noteworthy that, ahead of Independence Day in 2018, the Union Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) had issued an advisory to all States and Union Territories to ensure strict compliance with the provisions contained in the Flag Code of India, 2002� and �The Prevention of Insults to National Honour Act, 1971�.
�It has been brought to notice of this ministry that on the occasions of important national, cultural and sports events, the national flags made of plastic are also being used in place of national flags made of paper. Since plastic flags are not biodegradable like paper flags, these do not get decomposed for a long time and ensuring appropriate disposal of national flags made of plastic commensurate with dignity of the flag, is a practical problem. You are therefore, requested to ensure that on the occasions of important national, cultural and sports events, flags made of paper only are used by public in terms of the provision of the �Flag Code of India, 2002� and such paper flags are not discarded or thrown on the ground after the event,� the advisory had read.
On the other hand, at Fancy Bazar, despite the availability of khadi materials, it was found that most of the flags were made of a polyester-like material. The flags are available in different sizes, i.e. 12X8 inches, 12X10 inches, 16X24 inches, 30X45 inches, 16X44 inches, 48X72 inches, etc., and the price starts at Rs 50.
Along with the flag, other items like T-shirts, badges, caps, band, etc., with designs of the national flag in them, have also flooded the city markets ahead of the Independence Day.
Some traders informed that each T-shirt is available for Rs 120, a cap costs between Rs 15 and Rs 35, a badge is available for anything between Rs 1 and Rs 30, while a band costs something between Rs 40 and Rs 60.
The traders further informed that the sale of flags so far has not picked up, probably due to the floods that have crippled the State.
Meanwhile, the Assam Khadi and Village Industries Board (AKVIB) has set a target to sell more than 12,000 flags ahead of Independence Day which will fetch it around Rs 25 lakh.
Marketing official of the Board Bipul Hazarika said that they have already made 8,000 flags which will be sold through the retail outlets of the Board located in different parts of the State.
Hazarika also stated that last year the Board had sold more than 7,600 flags ahead of Independence Day.
The flags of AKVIB are available in different sizes such as 6X4 feet, 9X12 feet, 3X4.5 feet, 2X3 feet, 1.5X2.5 feet and 9X6 inches.