The 182m or 600ft structure of Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel, is located in Gujarat’s Narmada district, about 200 km from Ahmedabad. The statue is a tribute to the great Indian independence leader who is also known as “The Iron-Man of India” after he persuaded feuding states to unite and become part of the Indian state after independence.
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, said the “statue of unity” would promote Gujarat as a major tourist attraction with about 2.5 million annual visitors and will help boost the local economy. But locals are angry as they consider this is as a waste of public money and that the funds could have been put to open up various new projects.
What could be built instead of the Statue of Unity:
- 2 new Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) campuses
- 6 Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) missions to Mars
- 2 Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) missions to Moon
- 5 Indian Institute of Management (IIM) campuses
- 2 water pipeline projects: Kadana reservoir and Dinod-Boridra lift irrigation project
- 2 new All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) campuses
- 5 new Solar Plants producing 375 megawatts of power
- 40,192 hectares of land could be irrigated
Narendra Modi who unveiled the statue on the 143rd birth anniversary of Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel, October 31, 2018 at a grand inaugural event, said it is “a symbol of India’s integrity and resolve.”
Indian sculptor Ram V Sutar was hired by Larsen & Toubro (L&T) to complete the project with the help of 250 engineers and 3,000 workers.
According to local reports, thousands of policemen have been deployed across the district, as the protests over the effigy turned violent. Many farmers and tribal activists were detained by the police during their objection of the statue. They claim to have not received the requisite compensation for various projects, including the construction of the memorial. The statue’s construction has severely affected nearly 75,000 tribals and over 32 villages. Many farmers have also threatened to drown themselves in the Narmada river in protest.
Statue of Unity is nearly twice as tall as New York’s Statue of Liberty. Spring Temple Buddha in China is now the 2nd highest, at 128m. It is soon going to be the 3rd highest as India isn’t stopping with the statue of unity, it plans to is construct a memorial to the Maratha warrior king Shivaji that is estimated to be 190 m tall in the state of Maharashtra.
What it took to build the world’s tallest statue?
- Cost: 2989 Crore Rupees
- Weight: 67,000 Tonnes
- 5,000 tonnes of iron
- 6,000 tonnes of structured steel
- 18,000 tonnes of reinforced steel
- 22,000 tonnes of cement
- 12,000 bronze panels weighing almost 1,850 tonnes
- Duration: 3 years and 9 months
- Location: The statue of unity is located in Sadhu Bet, 3.5 km downstream of Sardar Sarovar Dam, on the bed of Narmada
- Cost of Yearly Maintenance: 43.8 Crore Rupees Annually
- Funded By: Central Government along with 5 Public Sector Unit’s, namely ONGC, HPCL, BPCL, Indian Oil & OIL
- Technology: It has been built to withstand major earthquakes of up to 6.5 magnitude on the Richter Scale as well as heavy winds of up to 60 m/sec and is protected from floods.
- Area: The monument and its surroundings occupy more than 20,000 sq meters, encompassed by a 12 sq km artificial lake
- Labour: More than 250 engineers along with and 3,000 workers contributed to the efforts
Information for tourists:
High-speed elevators are built inside the statue, which take you to the observation deck which holds a capacity of 200 people. and is at a height of about 400 ft. This gives a panoramic view of the entire Narmada river, surrounding hills and dam. Every evening, laser shows lasting about 30-minute will be displayed. A 3-star Hotel named Shrestha Bharat Bhavan, a Museum and Audio Visual gallery are built inside the complex.
- 350 Rs per person for the Panoramic view at the Observation Deck.
- 120 Rs for adults, 60 Rs for kids between 3- 15 years, free entry for toddlers.
- Gates to the Entry are open everyday from 9 am to 6 pm.