New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi is set to unveil the ‘Statue of Unity’, touted to be the world’s tallest statue, on Wednesday. Several Gujarat ministers and BJP MLAs have fanned out across the country with invites to the big event.
Dedicated to Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel, the Statue of Unity with a height of 182 meters, will be unveiled on Patel’s 142nd birth anniversary. Patel, who played an important role in unifying India, was India’s Home Minister. Patel had made a unique contribution in bringing 546 princely states together for the unity and harmony of the nation. To pay tribute, the then Gujarat chief minister, Narendra Modi had on October 31, 2013, laid the foundation stone for the project.
Here are the interesting facts about the statue:
1. The memorial which is 182 meters tall, double of the statue of liberty located in New York. The statue, built at a cost of over Rs 2,300 crore, stands 3.2 km downstream of the Narmada dam on the islet ‘Sadhu Bet’.
2. As reported, the statue announced in 2013 has been completed in record 33 months. The memorial is believed to be Modi’s dream project. The statue is designed by the Ram V Sutar, a sculptor from Noida.
3. An agricultural tool used in building the statue was collected from around 7,00,000 villages across India. In all, 135 tonnes of iron was donated by farmers to support the project. Around 3,400 labourers and 250 engineers were engaged in the construction of the statue.
4. As per government record, around 15,000 tourists are expected to visit the statue daily. The biggest memorial is visible from the 7-Km radius.
5. The statue will also have a museum on the life of Sardar Patel at the base and have a viewing gallery at the height of 193 meters from the sea level which can accommodate 200 visitors at a time. Two high-speed lifts will take people to the viewers’ gallery, from where they can see beyond the Narmada dam.
6. The core of the statue is made up of reinforced concrete, but the surface that gives it a distinct design has been created using 553 bronze panels, with each panel having 10 to 15 micro panels. The panels were cast at a foundry in China and imported by L&T.
7. The first phase of the project is spread across 19,000 square meters area. Flowers will be grown on the hillocks adjoining the statue to make the 230-hectare area look like a “valley of flowers”.
8. To accommodate tourists in this tribal-dominated area, the state government is also constructing a 52-room three-star hotel and two “tent cities” with 250 tents. These facilities are currently under construction.
9. In the second phase, Garudeshwar weir will be constructed around 14-km downstream of the statue, with the facility of a boat ride for the public. The museum will have 40,000 documents, 2,000 photographs and a research centre dedicated to Sardar Patel’s life.
10. According to a media report, for selfie lovers, a point has been designated at the gallery of the Statue of Unity from where people can create their own memories.
He was fondly known as the Iron Man of India. He was inspired by the ideologies of Mahatma Gandhi and had also worked with him. He was elected as the Secretary of the Gujarat Sabha in 1917. He participated in the Salt Satyagraha movement and was imprisoned in 1930. Patel continued to support Mahatma Gandhi and participated in 1942 Quit India Movement. He became the first Home Minister of independent India and integrated 562 princely states under the Indian Dominion. He died on December 15, 1950, following a massive heart attack.
(With agency inputs)