Flag collection drive announcement by Indian Oil Corporation.
Flag collection drive announcement by Indian Oil Corporation.

IOC flag collection msg fails to reach many of its fuel outlets

Managers of fuel outlets said, “we were not informed of any such directive and to date, nobody has handed over any national flag to us.”

VELLORE: A flag collection drive announced by national fuel major Indian Oil Corporation fell flat as none of its outlets in the Vellore district was aware of this campaign, it was revealed.

Following the central government amending the 2020 national flag code and allowing the public to raise the Tricolour for three days from August 13, the fuel major’s Mumbai divisional office put out a WhatsApp directive titled flag collection drive “treat the national flag with respect from August 16 onwards” calling on the public to hand over flags which were no longer in use to the nearest Indian Oil fuel outlet where the directive said, “we will preserve the good ones and dispose of the damaged ones with respect.”

However, a visit by this reporter to its fuel outlets on the 30-kilometre stretch between Vellore and Ranipet revealed that except for two all other outlets were ignorant of the directive.

Managers of fuel outlets said, “we were not informed of any such directive and to date, nobody has handed over any national flag to us.”

When this reporter reached Ranipet, staff at an outlet near the new collector’s office said “flags are being collected at an outlet at VC Mottur, but we have not received flags from the public.” When this reporter visited the VC Mottur outlet, the manager said: “We have received 30 flags which will be forwarded to the Chennai Indian Oil office at the end of the month.”

When this reporter contacted Vellore Indian Oil sales officer Sai Chandru, the latter said, “some flags have been collected by an outlet in Gudiyattam and in Ranipet but not in Vellore.”

Hence the question arises as to what the public plan to do with the national flags. Sembanathan of Vellore said he would preserve the flag to raise it on the next I-Day or R-Day. Asked what he would do if the government did not extend permission, he was unable to answer.

As the manager of a Vellore outlet said, “the central government should have informed the media on what should be done with the flag once Independence Day was over as then the response would have been good.” It may be recalled that the post office sold 11,800 flags in the Vellore district alone.

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