Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s ambitious statue of Sardar Vallabhai Patel – the Statue of Unity – will be inaugurated on 31 October this year, the one hundred and forty third birth anniversary of the former deputy prime minister.
The foundation stone for the 182 metre-tall statue was laid by Modi when he was the chief minister of Gujarat on 31 October 2013. The memorial is coming up at Sadhu Bet, an island on the Narmada 3.32 km downstream from the Sardar Sarovar Dam.
The Rs 3,000 crore project is being built on a public-private partnership (PPP) by engineering giant Larsen and Toubro (L&T) and under the supervision of the Sardar Sarovar Narmada Nigam Limited (SSNNL).
Once complete, the statue will be the world’s tallest statue overtaking the current tallest statue – the 208 metre-tall Spring Budhha statue in China – till the completion of the 210 metre-tall Shiv Smarak off the coast of Mumbai. It will offer visitors a view of the surrounding area with a viewing deck at a height of 500 m. It will also house a audio-visual gallery, feature a laser light and sound show on the life of Sardar Patel, a virtual tour of the Sardar Sarovar Dam and will also incorporate a tribal museum.
Approximately 135 tonnes of scrap was collected from farmers across the country prior to 2014 of which 105 tonnes have been processed and extracted for use in the statue.