Modi to lay foundation for Sardar Patel's statue tomorrow

Virendra Pandit | | Updated on: Mar 12, 2018

To mark the 137th birth anniversary of Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel, the Gujarat Chief Minister, Narendra Modi, will on Thursday perform bhoomi pooja for construction of the statue of Iron Man of India.

Called the Statue of Unity, it will be built on a small rocky island in the middle of Narmada River, facing the Sardar Sarovar Dam at Kevadia in Bharuch district.

Modi will kick off the first phase of this mega-project in the presence of BJP leader L.K. Advani, as chief guest, at a glittering function.

The first phase, for which global tenders have been invited until November 30, is likely to cost nearly Rs 2,100 crore, involving construction of the main statue, a bridge connecting it to the river bank and reconstruction of a 12-km-long road along the Narmada bank. The first phase would be completed in 42 months.

Will be world's tallest statue

At a gigantic height of 182 metres, the Statue of Unity will be nearly double the height of the Statue of Liberty (93 mts) in New York. It will also be taller than the Spring Temple Buddha, Lushan Country, Henan, China (153 mts), Ushiku Daibutsu Ibaraki Prefecture, Japan (120 mts), The Motherland Calls, Volgograd, Russia (85 mts) and The Christ the Redeemer, Rio De Janeiro, Brazil (39.6 mts). The Statue will have a bronze coating.

Iron collection drive

For this purpose, the ruling BJP, which has nominated Modi as its Prime Ministerial candidate for the 2014 Lok Sabha polls, has announced collecting used agricultural implement from farmers of nearly seven lakh villages across India.

At 250 gm per contributor, the party hopes to collect about 5,000 tonnes of iron, to be stored at different locations. This iron would then be cast into sheets to make parts of the statue and brought to the site for assembling it into a massive structure, sources said. The iron collection drive across the country will also begin on Thursday.

Modi’s most ambitious project yet, this work is being undertaken by the state-funded Sardar Patel Rashtriya Ekta Trust (SVPRET), headed by the Chief Minister himself.

There will be two elevators in the Statue and a balcony in the eyes for viewers to look at the Sardar Sarovar Dam, said Ganpat Vasava, Gujarat Minister for Forest and Environment and Tribal Development.

Second phase

In the second phase, a memorial park at the base of the Statue, an artificial reservoir between the dam and the adjoining Garudeshwar town and a tourist facilitation centre will be set up, said Energy Minister, Saurabh Patel, and Finance Minister, Nitin Patel, government spokespersons. The total cost of the entire project is estimated to be around Rs 2,500 crore.

Sources said the Indian arm of Turner Project Management, which was involved with the construction of Burz Khalifa, world’s tallest building at Dubai, is the project consultant.

Published on October 30, 2013
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