Ahmedabad: Prime Minister Narendra Modi today unveiled the ‘Statue of Unity’ in Gujarat’s Narmada district as a tribute to freedom icon Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel on his 143rd birth anniversary.
Air Force planes showered flowers on the statue in a grand inaugural event on the banks of the Narmada river in Gujarat as PM Modi dedicated it to the nation.
The 182-metre structure of Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel is the world’s tallest and twice the height of the Statue of Liberty in the US. It is built on Sadhu Bet, an islet near the Sardar Sarovar Dam, at a cost of Rs. 2,989 crore.
“This is a project that we had thought about during the time when I was the Chief Minister of Gujarat. To build the Statue of Unity, lakhs of farmers from all over India came together, gave their tools, portions of soil and thus, a mass movement started,” Modi said during his address after unveiling the statue.
The statue has been designed by Padma Bhushan-winning sculptor Ram V Sutar and has been built by Larsen and Toubro and the state-run Sardar Sarovar Narmada Nigam Ltd. It took about 250 engineers and 3,400 labourers to construct the statue in 33 months.
The Statue of Unity is filled with 1,700 tonnes of bronze and 1,850 tonnes of bronze cladding made up of 565 macro and 6,000 micro panels. The core of the statue is made up of 210,000 cu.m. of cement concrete, 18,500 tonnes of reinforced steel and 6,500 tonnes of structural steel.