“Statue of Unity” was unveiled today by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on the 143rd birth anniversary of the “Iron Man of India” Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel.
— BJP (@BJP4India) October 31, 2018
The Statue of Unity is now the tallest statue in the world with a height of 182 m (600 feet). It has eclipsed China’s Spring Temple Buddha statue and the Statue of Liberty in the United States.
The statue is made up of 1,700 tonnes of bronze, 1,850 tonnes of bronze cladding, 70,000 metric tonnes of cement and 24,500 metric tonnes of steel.
It took 33 months to complete and was built at a cost of ₹2,989 crore. Over 3000 works and 300 engineers from Larsen & Toubro (L&T) worked in the project.
93 year old, Padma Bhushan awardee Ram Vanji Sutar has created the statue and intricate bronze cladding work is done by a Chinese foundry, the Jiangxi Toqine Company (JTQ). Sutar has built over 8000 sculptures including a 45 feet ‘Goddess Chambal’ statue made out of single stone in 1959. He is currently designing the Chatrapati Shivaji statue and Dr Babasaheb Ambedkar statue.
The Statue of Unity is located on the Sadhu Bet island, near Rajpipla on the Narmada river. It is located between the Satpura and the Vindhya mountain ranges. A 3.5 km highway will be used to connect the statue to Gujarat’s Kevadia town.
Elevators will take tourists up to the statue’s chest, from where they can view the Narmada river and Sardar Sarovar Dam. The viewing gallery for the statue is at 153 metres and it can accommodate 200 people at a time and offer an complete view of the Sardar Sarovar Dam.
Comparison with the other statues :
The Spring Temple of Buddha in China which was the tallest statue is of 153 m.
Ushiku Daibutsu in Japan is of 120 m.
The Statue of Liberty in the United States of America is of 93 m.
Mother Homeland in Russia is of 85 m.
Christ – the Reedemer in Brazil is of 38 m.
Opposition to the Statue of Unity :
Local tribal organisations said as many as 75,000 tribals adversely affected by the Statue of Unity project. The tribals are complaining that their lands were taken away for the Sardar Sarovar Narmada Project, near which is the statue site, as well as for the statue and all other tourism activities which have been planned in the area.
In protest of the inauguration, the tribals have called for a ‘bandh’ today.