The colossal statue of late Indian statesman and independence activist Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel, which was unveiled by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on October 31 at Kevadiya in Gujarat, can be seen from space. A picture shared by American Constellation of Satellites owned by Sky Lab shows the 597-feet Statue of Unity, which has now become the world’s tallest, standing up tall besides the river Narmada. Also Read - On Call, PM Modi Discusses COVID-19 Situation With French President Macron
Vallabhbhai Patel, popularly known as Sardar Patel, was an Indian politician and one of the most prominent leaders of the country who fought for India’s independence during the British Raj. He was also a founding father of the Republic of India and played an important role in unifying hundreds of princely states to form the modern political boundary of India. Also Read - PM Modi’s Mother Heeraben Modi Donates Rs 25000 From Her Personal Savings to PM-CARES Fund
The project for the statue was first announced in 2010 and construction began in October 2014 by Larsen & Toubro, who received the contract for Rs 2,989 crore. The statue was designed by sculptor Ram V. Sutar and it was inaugurated by in the 143rd anniversary of Sardar Patel’s birth. Also Read - ‘This is wonderful’: Ivanka Trump Thanks PM Modi For Sharing Yoga Video During Lockdown
During its creation, an outreach drive named the Statue of Unity Movement was started in support of the construction of the statue. Through the drive, iron that was needed for construction of the statue was collected by asking farmers to donate their used farming instruments. The statue has been divided into five zones and only three are accessible to the public.
The statue, which was completed in mid-October 2018, has now become the tallest statue after it beat the previous record of China’s Spring Temple Buddha, which stands at 420-feet.
Despite its impressive looks and size, the statue was not welcomed by many, especially, tribals belonging to the Tadvi tribe, who opposed land acquisition for the development of tourism infrastructure around the statue. It was also opposed because the land it was built on held religious importance. Further, the statue faced criticism for the amount that was being spent on it, with political parties calling it a waste of taxpayers’ money.