Ban pending, vendors sell 'cheaper' plastic flags

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New Delhi, Aug 15: Despite government's efforts against plastic tricolours, they continue to be sold in the national capital as vendors find them cheaper.

As the government is mulling a ban on sale and use of plastic-made national flags in the country, scores of vendors were found selling such tricolours at traffic signals and intersections in the national capital today.


Shopkeepers say that there is more demand for plastic flags as they are cheaper in comparison to paper flags. "The vendors who sell these flags at traffic signals prefer plastic flags as they are cheaper.

While bulk purchasing of plastic flags generally costs 25 paise per piece, the paper ones cost Re 1," Dinesh, a shopkeeper at Sadar market, said. Shamsher, a shopkeeper in Munirka, said, "We sell around 10,000 plastic flags every year around Independence day.

There is demand for paper flags at times generally from schools, but rest prefer plastic ones only." Taking note of complaints that after Republic Day and Independence Day functions, flags made of plastic are often found lying on roads and gutters, Home Ministry officials had recently said that the government is going to issue an order banning plastic flags soon.

Last year, the MHA had issued an advisory saying that whoever within public view burns, mutilates, defaces, defiles, disfigures, destroys, tramples upon or shows any sign of disrespect or brings into contempt the national flag whether by words spoken or written, shall be punished with imprisonment for a term which may extend to three years with fine, or both as per Section 2 of the Prevention of Insults to National Honour Act 1971.

Such flags are to be disposed of in private, consistent with the dignity of the flag, the Ministry stated. In March, Bombay High Court had asked Maharashtra government to come up with a comprehensive policy to ensure a ban on use, sale and purchase of national flags made of plastic.

The Centre had also informed the court that a proposal to ban manufacture of national flags made of plastic was pending.


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