Statue of Unity: This time Patel's monument depicting the unity in India, is in news for being chosen as the country's wonder.
Statue of Unity News: The famous engineering marvel of India and the world’s tallest statue, the Statue of Unity is once again in the news. This time, Sardar Patel’s monument depicting the unity in India is featuring in the headlines for being chosen as the country’s wonder. The title was awarded to the monument in an ongoing tourism campaign of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO), which is an eight-member China-led security bloc. According to an HT report, the world’s tallest statue was nominated for Eight Wonders of the SCO by India as their primary choice after approval from the Prime Minister’s office.
The Statue of Unity was chosen for consideration among four options that were suggested by the Union Tourism Ministry for nomination as India’s wonder. Among the four options, the other three were the UNESCO world heritage sites of Hampi in Karnataka, ancient structural wonder Ajanta caves in Maharashtra and the iconic Taj Mahal of Agra, which is one of the most recognised monuments in the world.
The tallest statue in the world stands at a height of 579 feet above the ground on a river island in the Narmada river valley. It faces the Sardar Sarovar Dam on river Narmada river in Kevadiya colony. The prominent structure is a colossal statue dedicated to the former Deputy Prime Minister, statesman and freedom fighter Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel.
According to sources, the nominations were filed by the member countries, after a request from the SCO secretariat in Beijing. The body requested nomination for a tourism destination that could be promoted from its members earlier in 2019.
Among the eight members of the SCO, six countries preferred to nominate sites of ancient and historical importance while one nominated the natural beauty of the like for campaign, other than India.
Notably, almost a year old engineer marvel was featured in the Time magazine list of ‘100 places to visit in 2019’. The ‘Eight wonders’ initiative was launched by the SCO secretary-general and a former foreign minister of Uzbekistan, Vladimir Norov. He, while speaking at the 8th summit of the World Tourism Cities Federation earlier in September, has stated that the aim of the campaign was to create a common tourism space in all member countries. He said this while attending a summit in Helsinki, Finland. He also said that the development of the project was looked after by SCO itself and all the member countries have extended support to it.
Other seven wonders of the SCO that has been nominated along with the Statue of Unity include the Imperial Palace of Damin (China), Lake Issyk-Kul (Kyrgyzstan), the Archaeological complex Tamgaly (Kazakhstan), the heritage of the Great Mughals (Pakistan), the Golden Ring (Russia), the historical spiritual centre (Bukhara, Uzbekistan) and Palace Navruz (Tajikistan).
China’s tourism noted an increase of 11.5 per cent in the number of tourist visit from other SCO member countries as a total of 3.62 million other SCO country tourists visited the country in 2017. The co-operation in tourism is considered as an important aspect of economic cooperation among the SCO member nations. The body believes that this will help in consolidating and developing good neighborliness among them.