The ‘Statue of Unity’ constructed to honour Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel will be inaugurated by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on October 31. The ambitious project has been built on the bank of Narmada river. The project was a Gujarat government’s initiative implemented by the state PSU. Once unveiled on the birth anniversary of Sardar Patel, the statue would be the tallest in the world. The statue is being built near the Sardar Sarovar Dam in the Narmada district, close to 200 kilometres from Ahmedabad.
Sardar Patel, who was one of the founding fathers of the Republic of India, has been credited for his role in uniting independent-divided India in 1947. The statue has been designed in such a manner that it depicts a naturalistic and historically accurate representation of Patel wearing his characteristic garments and assuming a walking stance.
The statue, being built at a cost of Rs 2,389 crore and nearly 3,400 labourers and 250 engineers are working round-the-clock at the site of the statue at Sadhu Bet island on Narmada river. According to news agency PTI, work is going on at fast pace on the interiors of the project, which includes a museum of Sardar Patel, elevators, and the viewing gallery. The museum will have 40,000 documents, 2,000 photographs and a research centre dedicated to Sardar Patel’s life.
Here are top interesting facts about the project:
1. The project was announced by PM Narendra Modi in 2010 when he was the chief minister of the state. He had laid the foundation stone in 2013.
2. The statute is 182-metre tall and is built with 25,000 tonnes of iron and 90, 000 tonnes of cement.
3. The height of the statue will be more than double the Statue of Liberty, which stands tall at 93-metre off the coast of New York City and four times that of Christ the Redeemer in Rio de Janeiro.
4. The project involves walkway, the four-lane approach highway, and the Shrestha Bharat Bhavan which is a three-star lodging facility with 52 rooms.
5. The Statue of Unity is built on Sadhu Island in the Narmada river, approximately 3.2 km away from the Sardar Sarovar Dam. A 3.5 km highway to connect the island to Kevadia town in Gujarat.
6. The world’s tallest statue will be able to withstand wind velocity up to 60 m/sec, vibration and earthquake.
7. The statue will have a viewing gallery at 153 m, which can accommodate up to 200 visitors at a go, and will offer an expansive view of the dam and environs.
8. As the Sardar is known as the ‘Iron Man of India’, iron was collected from across length and breadth of the country. Iron collected through the ‘Loha ‘campaign and was used in the foundation of the statue.
9. The time for construction was fixed at 42 months and no escalation on labour, fuel, and material was allowed.
10. There is a three-story base that comprises a memorial garden and a large Exhibit hall developed as an edutainment attraction.