infrastructure giant Larsen & Toubro claimed that the Statue of Unity, built as a tribute to Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel, known as the Iron Man of India, would be the tallest in the world and the quickest to be completed, in just 33 months, unlike China's Spring Temple Buddha, which took 11 years to complete.
At 182 metres from the road entry and 208.5 metres from the river entry, the iconic statue is taller than the 153m Spring Temple Buddha in China and almost twice the height of the world-famous Statue of Liberty in New York.
Built at a cost of Rs 2,989 crore, the Statue of Unity project, barring bronze cladding which is a fragment of the mammoth work, has been done indigenously, L&T told PTI. The statue is located approximately 3.5 km downstream from the Sardar Sarovar Dam, on Sadhu Hill on the bed of the river Narmada.
The giant statue is set for inauguration by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on 31 October.
On project challenges, Mukesh S Raval, Project Director for the Statue of Unity, L&T, told PTI: "Ram Suthar, the sculptor, made a few replicas and the final bronze replica, measuring 30 feet, was handed over to us. That replica was scanned into electronic data, which was finally converted into a data grid for around 597-feet (182 metres) statue design. There were corrections, as, in any photography enlargement, some details get lost. Then we took this data to the foundry for casting the final bronze claddings. It was like arranging thousands of parts to complete a three-dimensional jigsaw puzzle." reported ET.
The viewing gallery with space to accommodate up to 200 people at a time, will have a view of the Satpura and Vindhyachal mountain ranges, which also form the point where Madhya Pradesh, Gujarat and Maharashtra meet.
Visitors can also get a distant view of the Sardar Sarovar Reservoir, and the 12-km-long Garudeshwar Reservoir.
In the lobby area at the entrance of the statue, a Museum and Audio Visual Gallery will feature 15-minute presentations on the life of Patel and the tribal culture of Gujarat on the pattern of Burj Khalifa, where visitors are shown audio-visual presentations on its construction.
In what came as a big surprise, on 15 December 2013, then Gujarat CM Narendra Modi had flagged off the campaign to 169,000 villages, carrying about three lakh empty kit boxes and subsequently, by 2016, 135 metric tonnes of iron was collected for the statue, L&T said.