Published: Wed, October 31, 2018
Global Media | By Jackie Banks

India unveils world's tallest statue celebrating key independence leader

India unveils world's tallest statue celebrating key independence leader

It will be more than 50 metres taller than China's Spring Temple Buddha, the world's current record holder, at 128 metres.

"The Statue of Unity" project was announced by Modi back in 2010 when he was still the chief minister for the state of Gujarat. "Is remembering country's great personalities a crime?" he asked. Reports said that PM Modi will be welcomed by the bands of the Armed Forces, Gujarat Police, SRP, CRPF and BSF, and cultural troupes from 29 States and two Union Territories.

But the authorities took no chances in case community groups staged protests to condemn the decision to spend 29.9 billion rupees - much of it public funds - to build the statue over a almost four-year period.

At a special function held at the capital's Patel Chowk, the President and others paid floral tributes at the statue of India's first Home Minister on his 143rd birthday anniversary, which is observed as "Rashtriya Ekta Divas".

Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who also hails from Gujarat, dedicated Patel's statue to the people of India on the 142nd birth anniversary of the statesman's birth. Sardar Patel wanted India to be strong, sensitive, vigilant and inclusive.

The prime minister that the statue will remind those who question India's existence that this nation was, is and will remain eternal.

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An elated Kohli also said that he never thought of reaching the landmark and his only focus was to contribute for the team. Kohli has been in sublime form across formats this year and has scored over 900 runs in ODIs alone.

According to foreign media, the size of the statue reflects Modi's massive political ego as India's global aspirations are on the rise. An approximate of 70 thousand tons of cement in addition to 18,500 tons of reinforcement steel and 6000 tons of structural steel has been used to build the statue.

The statue is part of Modi's poll promise which helped the BJP come to power in 2014 by defeating the Congress.

The Statue of Unity project, barring bronze cladding which is a fragment of the mammoth work, has been done indigenously, infrastruccture giant Larsen and Toubro (L&T) claimed. He had promised the project despite criticism that India couldn't afford it. The bronze statue cost Rs 2,989 crores to construct. The statue has been built to withstand winds of 180km/hour and earthquakes of up to 6.5 Richter scale.

- Developed on the banks of River Narmada on Sadhu Bet - 3.2 km downstream of Sardar Sarovar Dam, visitors can have a view of 200 km of the Dam and the Satpura and Vindhya Mountain ranges from a viewing platform at the level of the statue's chest.

Posters of Modi with Gujarat's chief minister, Vijay Rupani, were torn down or had their faces blackened at the weekend.

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