The tallest statue in the world was inaugurated today in Gujarat by PM Modi.
Named as 'Statue of Unity'; it stands 182 metres tall, almost twice the height of the Statue of Liberty beating the current tallest in the world, Spring Buddha Temple in China by 54 metres.
The statue that is located on a river island called Sadhu Bet, near Rajpipla in Gujarat, will be open to public from November 3. You can book online tickets here.
Designed by Padma Shri & Padma Bhushan Ramji Sutar, it took more than three years for the statue to come together. Around 4,500 migrant workers have been working daily to meet the deadline to complete it.
The viewing gallery for the statue, at 153 metres, can accommodate 200 people at a time and offers an expansive view of the Sardar Sarovar Dam. The statue will be able to withstand wind velocity up to 60 m/s, vibration and earthquakes.
According to a statement by the government, 70,000 tonnes of cement, 18,500 tonnes of reinforcement steel, 6,000 tonnes of structural steel and 1,700 metric tonnes of bronze, went into the construction of this massive structure.
Built at an estimated cost of ₹2900 crore, construction of this statue has been the reason for the displacement of thousands of tribals. According to reports, it has affected 75,000 tribals across 72 villages in Gujarat’s Narmada district.
Most of the tribals who live in the vicinity of the statue, have already been displaced by the project. In village Waghariya that had an population of about 1,500, 15 displaced families have been rehabilitated in mud huts in an area with no amenities like electricity or drinking water. The rest of them are being pushed to accept land very far away from their homes.
And few houses that remain will face submersion as water in the dam will be released for the inauguration ceremony.
The Statue of Unity stands overlooking the Sardar Sarovar Dam on the Narmada River. The dam itself invited a lot of protests since its inception and same happened with the statue. Tribals in Gujarat have been protesting the inauguration of the project.
Some say that Statue of Unity is a mark of India's growing prosperity, but the project has faced stiff opposition from tribals.