About 200 km away from Ahmedabad near the Kevadia Colony, an under-construction structure aims to become the world’s tallest statue. The ‘Statue of Unity’ — a 182m (597ft) tall statue of Indian freedom fighter Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel — will is finally nearing completion.
Overlooking the river Narmada as it streams past the Sardar Sarovar Dam, the Statue of Unity, located at Sadhu Bet, will dwarf the Spring Temple Buddha in China, currently the tallest statue at 128 metres (420 feet).
Over 3,000 labourers and 300 engineers are currently working at the structure, which is said to be built with 140,000 square meter concrete, 18,500-tonne steel, 70,000-tonne cement, and 2,000-tonne bronze. Reportedly, it will also include a high-tech convention centre, an amusement park, a memorial garden, a 50-room three-star hotel and a research centre. A viewing gallery will also be built into the statue near its chest, at a height of 153m. The overall cost of the whole project is said to be Rs 2,980 crore.
However, it will probably not stay the “world’s tallest statue” for too long. Apparently, another statue is in the works in Mumbai, which is proposed to be 212-metre-high. The statue, which will pay homage to the 17th-century king Chhatrapati Shivaji, is said to be ready by 2021, and will cost around Rs 3,600 crore.
The Statue of Unity will be inaugurated by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on October 31, which is the 143rd birth anniversary of Patel, who persuaded 550 princely states to become a part of India after independence from Britain in 1947. The statue was first announced by Modi himself in 2013, in the run-up of the 2014 general elections. The massive icon aims at boosting the tourism sector in the western state.