Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) to invest Rs.84crore to install the Indian flag in 500 locations across Dehli. The initiative was taken under the “Deshbhakti budget” in March for the year 2021 to 2022.
Other elements of the “deshbhakti” or nationalism budget include schemes for the several departments, including health and education. The government has also proposed the ‘Deshbhakti curriculum’ under which one period daily will be specifically assigned to instill pride and sentiments of unity as well as brotherhood, love and respect for the country.
Addressed a press conference for the upcoming 'Maha-Abhiyan' taken up by ABVP Delhi. 2500+ karykarta will hoist flags at 647 places in Delhi as the country enters its 75th year of Independence on 15th August. #Delhi pic.twitter.com/wqZvZLnEAP
— Paras Malik (@parasmalik_abvp) July 27, 2021
The idea of installing flags is being done to celebrate 75 years of Indian Independence, while also attempting to make the flag ubiquitous in the capital.
The initial budget allocated for the project was around Rs 45 crore, which was later increased to Rs 84 crore, according to the tender floated by the Delhi government’s Public Works Department on July 24. On average, each flag pole will cost nearly Rs 16.8 lakh to install.
35 metre-high mast flags will be installed at 495 locations in Delhi within the target of 150 days. 5 more flags will be raised before Independence Day on 15 August.
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However, the initiative has come under severe criticism as the city has been dealing with other serious issues such as the Covid-19 waves and immigrant crisis since last year.
“Giving Rs 84 crore to install 500 flags is a complete travesty,” said Right to Food activist Anjali Bharadwaj. “There are many pressing issues that need the government’s attention like providing nutrition to children living in poverty and issuing ration cards to those in need of subsidised foodgrains. So if the government has the resources why can they not focus on these issues?”
If during a pandemic @ArvindKejriwal spends ₹84 crores to install 500 flags across Delhi, I would suggest he installs these flags over his promised oxygen plants, so that when Delhi people are gasping for oxygen while feeling patriotic they know where to look.#Fail_Kejriwal
— Shivani Chopra (@ShivaniChopra_) July 30, 2021
The state spent only Rs.70crore to run its neighborhood clinics, and almost Rs.8.5crore on the special immunization program for measles, mumps and rubella, and typhoid. Only Rs.40crore is invested on women and child development and just a little over Rs.28crore is spent on environment and pollution control.
Additionally, Sikhs for Justice (SFJ) and Sayukt Kisan Morcha has announced that they will not allow any politician to raise tricolor flag on 15 Aug amidst the ongoing farmer protest.