Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi has inaugurated the 182 meter tall Sardar Vallabhai Patel’s statue today. It has been named as the “Statue of Unity” which has been built in the honor of India’s first Home Minister Sardar Vallabhai Patel. Today is the 143rd birth anniversary of Sardar Vallabhai Patel.
It is built on the Sadhu Belt Island, on the banks of Narmada river, Gujarat. The price of building this statue is estimated to be nearly Rs. 2,989 crore and is touted to be twice as tall as the Statue of Liberty. The statue depicts the Home Minister wearing a traditional dhoti and a shawl. Mega quantity of Iron had been collected from allover the country to make the statue. Sardar Vallabhai Patel was also known as the “Iron Man of India”.
The Statue of Unity is 177 feet taller than the current tallest statue in the world, China’s Spring Temple Buddha, central Henan province. About 250 engineers and 3,500 laborers worked in tandem to build this statue. It took about 33 months, i.e. two years and nine months to complete this magnanimous effort. The statue is made with reinforced concrete while its surface is made with 553 bronze panels which were cast in a Chinese foundry.
Padma Bhushan winning sculptor Ram V Sutar had designed it while Larsen and Toubro has built it along with the state-run Sardar Sarovar Narmada Nigam Limited. About 185 families were asked to vacate the surroundings in order to get the statue built. The Gujarat government has compensated the families and have been given 1,200 acres of land for a new living.
200 visitors are estimated to be accommodated at a single time. It is being developed as a tourism extravaganza which in turn shall develop a large number of employment opportunities. Its viewing gallery offers the visitors a look at the Sardar Sarovar Dam, the reservoir, the Satpura and Vindhya mountains. The museum offers 40,000 documents, a research center and around 2,000 photographs on view for its visitors. The Gujarat government is anticipating 15,000 visitors per day as the initial expectations.
While some of the citizens convey that it is a day to remember for India, there are other sections which are showing disgust on the officials for spending huge amounts, which could have easily been used to develop other important aspects in the country. Where do you stand on this?