Assam joined the rest of the world in celebrating the 150th Birth Anniversary of Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi in a unique way. Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal inaugurated the beginning of the year long celebrations by dedicating India’s tallest National Flag (from the average city elevation) to the people of Assam at a function held at Gandhi Mandap here on Tuesday.
With a view to creating a place of pride and honour to the supreme sacrifices made by the citizens led by Mahatma Gandhi during the freedom movement, the project of installation of the National Flag was conceived of by Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal and asked the Department of Industries and Commerce to carry forward the project.
Guwahati Smart City Limited was entrusted with the task of preparing the project document and supervise the implementation of the project. Accordingly, a concept-design to install a 319.5 feet high monumental flag pole in Gandhi Mandap was presented and was approved by the government. The work was awarded to M/S Bajaj Electricals Limited through competitive bidding and work started in April, 2018. The total project cost is Rs 2.92 crore which includes an operations and maintenance for a period of one year.
The 319.5 feet Flag Pole is the highest in the country with respect to the average elevation of the city. Considering only the height of the Flag Pole, it is ranked third highest in the country after Attari Border which is 360 feet and Pimpri Chinchwad Bhakti Shakti Chawk, in Pune which is 351 feet.
Speaking on the occasion, Assam Chief Minister Sonowal said the government has resolved to contribute its might to the journey of transformation of New India of Mahatma Gandhi’s dream started and spearheaded by Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Sonowal said that Gandhiji’s philosophy of non-violence, swachhata, untouchability is still relevant not only in India but outside. Even the greats like Nelson Mandela, Martin Luther King followed Gandhiji’s philosophy to serve the humanity. Terming Gandhiji a great humanist and nationalist, Sonowal said installing the tallest National Flag in the state was motivated by Gandhiji’s principle of nationalism.
Speaking on Gandhiji’s importance on cleanliness, Sonowal said Swachh Bharat Abhiyan is no longer remained a government programme, it has become a mass movement. The reflections of Swachh Bharat Abhiyan can be seen in entire length and breadth of the country where people irrespective of all class are volunteering themselves to cleanliness movement.
Stating government’s commitment to ‘swachhata’ Sonowal said his government has constructed 26 lakh latrines in the state over past two years in the government’s bid to declare the state a open defecation free.
Assam Industries and Commerce Minister Chandra Mohan Patowary, Agriculture Minister Atul Bora, Member of Parliament Biswajit Daimary also spoke on the occasion. Earlier Chief Minister Sonowal led a string of leaders in the state in paying rich tributes to the statue of Mahatma Gandhi at Gandhi Mandap. He also attended an all faith prayer meeting on the occasion.
Assam Environment and Forest Minister Parimal Suklabaidya, Water Resources Minister Keshab Mahanta, Hill Areas Development Minster Sum Ronghang, Minister of State (independent charge) for Cultural Affairs Naba Kumar Doley, Member of Parliament of Kamakhya Prasad Tasa, Chief Minister’s Media Advisor Hrishikesh Goswami, several MLAs, senior officers of state administration were present on the occasion.