The statue is being built in the state of Gujarat. It is located at the Sardar Sarovar Dam on the Narmada river. The dam itself is considered to be one of the largest structures standing at a height of 42 meters. It is approximately 200 km from Ahmedabad, Gujarat’s largest city.
The significance of Sardar Patel and Statue of Unity
The moment statue represents the Indian Independence movement leader and the First Home Minister and Deputy Prime Minister Of India Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel popularly known as Sardar Patel. He is also known as “Iron Man Of India”. He was an Indian Barrister and statesman, a senior leader of the Indian National Congress and a founding father of the Republic of India who played a leading role in the country’s struggle for independence and guided its integration into a united, independent nation.
In India and elsewhere, he was often called Sardar. He fought for the self-rule and an independent right. He played a significant role in persuading feuding states to unite to become part of the Indian State after independence in 1947. The Statue of Unity is named for his struggle for India to make it a United Country. He is the one who won over British leaders in the Bardoli Satyagraha. Even today he is remembered as the man who united India.
The Prime Minister’s Office said PM Modi will dedicate the statue that is twice the height of America’s world-renowned Statue of Liberty by pouring soil and water from the Narmada river into a ‘Kalash’. He will then do a ‘Virtual Abhishek’ of the statue by pressing a lever. Soon after, the PM will reach the Wall of Unity (a monument defining India’s unity) for its inauguration. The BJP stalwart will also perform a special prayer at the statue’s feet.
Later, the PM will visit the museum and exhibition, as well as the viewers’ gallery. The viewer’s gallery is located at a height of 153 metres and provides a breathtaking view of the Sardar Sarovar Dam, its reservoir, and the Satpura and Vindhya mountain ranges, as per a report in PTI. As many as can stand on the gallery at one time.
A spectacular flypast by Indian Air Force aircraft and cultural performances would also mark the occasion. As part of the IAF performances, a team of three Surya Kiran jets will fly past leaving behind saffron, white and green colours of the national flag. This will be followed by a flypast by three Jaguars at low altitude. Meanwhile, helicopters will shower flower petals on the statue while the PM pays a floral tribute to Sardar Patel
Finance for the Statue
Indian infrastructure company Larsen and Toubro won the contract on 27 October 2014 for its lowest bid of 2,989 crores for the design, construction, and maintenance. They commenced the construction on 31 October 2014. In the first phase of 2,989 crores project, 1347 crores are for the main statue, 235 crores for exhibition hall and convention center, 83 crores for the bridge connecting the memorial to the main land and 657 crores for the maintenance of the structure for 15 years after its completion.
Construction of the statue
It is constructed with steel framing, reinforced cement concrete, and bronze cladding. The statue needed 75,000 cubic meters of concrete, 5,700 tonnes of steel structure, 18,500 tonnes of reinforced steel rods, 22,500 tonnes of bronze sheets for construction. In the first phase, a bridge connecting the memorial to the mainland, a memorial, visitor center buildings, a memorial garden, a hotel, a convention center, an amusement park, research centres, and institutes is being constructed.
An interesting fact to note about the construction of this engineering marvel is that among the thousands of workers, 200 are from China. These 200 workers have been working in batches for two-three months each since September 2017. The L&T has recommended that Chinese foundry Jiangxi Tongqing Metal Handicrafts Co. Ltd (or the TQ Art foundry) be chosen to mold the cladding, that essentially makes up the bronze statue, as per the report.
Statue Of Unity Facts
1. At a height of 153 m, The Statue of Unity will have a viewing gallery offering an expansive view of the dam and its environments. The Gallery can accommodate up to 200 visitors at one time.
2. The Statue of Unity is able to withstand wind velocity up to 60m/sec, vibration and earthquake.
3. The Statue of Unity comprises two semi-joined and composite concrete cylindrical cores surrounded by a structural steel space to support the exterior cladding.
4. Visitors will be able to see the Sardar Sarovar dam and its 200km long reservoir, Satpura and Vindhya mountain ranges from the gallery.
5. 5700 Metric Tons of structural steel and reinforcement bars of 18500 Metric Tons is used to build the Statue Of Unity.
6. A 3.5 KM Highway is built to connect the Statue of Unity in Sadhu island to Kevadia town in Gujarat.
7. Under Loha campaign, The iron is collected from various parts of the country. The collected iron is melted, converted to rebar and used in the foundation of The Statue of Unity.
8. Once open for visitors, The Statue of Unity will generate approximately 15000 direct jobs for tribal people every year.
9. A 3-star hotel facility will food service, guest amenities, and conference facilities is built next to The Statue of Unity.
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