The Statue of Unity is modelled after Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel, who was a key figure in the struggle for Indian independence
We are days away from officially unveiling what will be the world's tallest statue, standing at an incredible 182 metres tall. It is modelled after Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel, who was a key figure in the struggle for Indian independence. This statue will be unveiled by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on October 31, the birthday of Patel.
'Sardar' Vallabhbhai Patel was born on 31 October 1875 in Nadiad, Gujarat. After completing primary education, he went to England and obtained a law degree. Barrister Patel returned back to India and started practicing law in Godhra, swiftly climbing the ladder to be one of the topmost lawyers. In 1909, Patel's wife Jhaverba died in the hospital after undergoing a treatment for cancer. Sardar was in the court at that time cross-examining a witness; he was informed of this news by a note. He read the note, pocketed it, continued his cross-examination and won the case. He broke the news to others only after the proceedings had ended.
Patel first met Mahatma Gandhi in 1917, during the Gujarat Political Conference. Gandhiji inspired him to run for Gujarat Sabha, Gujarat wing of Indian National Congress. He was a leading face in support of non-cooperation movement launched by Gandhiji.
Patel was elected Ahmedabad's municipal president in 1922, 1924, and 1927, but Bardoli Satyagraha of 1928 earned him the most fame. Farmers were forced to pay the tax at 30% rate despite the drought. Farms and houses were confiscated of those who refused to pay. Vallabhbhai raised voice against this gross insensitivity of the British. He asked people to refuse to pay the tax. Thousands of farmers were arrested for the same, ultimately forcing the British to negotiate the terms. Taxes were repealed for the year and the succeeding year as well. Satyagraha was ended in a huge success, due to which Vallabhbhai earned the address 'Sardar'.
By 1942, when Quit India movement was launched, Sardar had become a national leader. The Quit India movement was the final nail in the coffin of the British Empire. India was getting ready for 'poorn swaraj' in 1946.
In the 1946 election for the Congress presidency, the nominations were to be made by 15 state/regional Congress committees. Despite Gandhi's well-known preference for Nehru as Congress president, not a single Congress committee nominated Nehru's name. 12 out of 15 Congress committees nominated Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel. The remaining three Congress committees did not nominate any body's name. The majority was in favour of Sardar Patel.
However, this election was thrown into the trash bin as the Congress did what it is best at- injustice to the deserving. Patel was asked by Gandhiji to make way for Nehru, which he obliged. Patel was sworn in as the first deputy Prime Minister of India, with the charge of Home Ministry.
Patel earned the title of 'Bismarck of India' as he integrated 562 princely states to form modern India. 562 princely states were given the option of joining either India or Pakistan or choosing independence. Indian nationalists and large segments of the public feared that if these states did not accede, most of the people and territory would be fragmented. Sardar took on this humongous task and started solving each one of them by 'Saam', 'Daam', 'Dand' and 'Bhed'. Starting from the kingdom of Bhavnagar, he met with royals to help form India. Most royals agreed to this noble task, but three- Junagadh, Hyderabad, and Kashmir.
Junagadh was taken over by Arzi Hukumat followed by a popular vote, with over 99% in favour of joining with India. Patel initiated Operation Polo to take over Hyderabad, an armed operation which neutralised thousands of radical razakaars and ultimately adding Hyderabad region into India. However, he was denied the charge of Kashmir, which was under Nehru. Nehru's gross incompetence failed to convince Maharaja Hari Singh of Kashmir to join into India, as he wanted to establish Kashmir as an independent nation-state. In late 1947, Pakistan avenged Kashmir to occupy it. Patel had to intervene, and he sent troops to Kashmir to reclaim the lost region. Army's efforts went into vain as Nehru rushed to UN, which brought the situation to a stalemate. The region of PoK could've been reclaimed in 1948 itself if it weren't for Nehru.
In 1948, Patel took up the task to revive and rebuild the temple of Somnath, one of the 12 Jyotirlings of Bhagwan Shiv. Nehru considered this move 'communal' and asked him to not proceed further. Sardar disregarded this and went on to build one of the most gorgeous temples in existence.
Patel, being the far-sighted he was, warned Nehru of the possible Chinese invasion on NEFA border. As usual, Nehru ignored this valuable piece of advice and kept singing "Hindi-Chini bhai bhai", only to be later stabbed in the back by the Chinese in 1962 Indo-Sino conflict.
Unfortunately, Patel wasn't alive then. He attained moksha in 1950 due to cardiac arrest. Nehru, who later went on to confer himself for the 'Bharat Ratna', highest civilian award in 1955 didn't bother to nominate Sardar's name even once in his 17 years old tenure. Sardar was denied Bharat Ratna for 41 years, most of them being Gandhi family years. It took a non-Congress government of Chandrashekhar in 1991, which honoured Patel with Bharat Ratna.
Conceptualisation of Statue of Unity
Narendra Modi (then CM of Gujarat) first announced this project on 7th October 2010 with saying- "I want people from all over the world to see this statue just like they go see America's Statue of Liberty or Paris's [Eiffel] Tower,". Foundation was laid by then CM Narendra Modi on October 31, 2013.
Gujarat government established Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel Rashtriya Ekta Trust (SVPRET) for construction of the statue.
Turner Project Management Pvt. Ltd (Project manager of Burj Khalifa) was selected for providing Project Management and Construction Management services in August 2012.
In October 2014, Larsen & Toubro won the contract with the lowest bid of ₹2,989 crore (US$420 million) for the design, construction and maintenance.
• Rs 1347 crore are for the main statue
• Rs 235 crore for exhibition hall and convention centre
• Rs 83 crore for the bridge connecting the memorial to the mainland
• Rs 657 crore for the maintenance of the structure for 15 years after its completion.
Accenture is handling Digital Media Outreach for this project and the overall monument is designed by Ram V. Sutar.
Sophisticated state of art technologies like Light Detection and Ranging Technology and Telescopic logging to assess rock joint is adopted.
Statue development through four stages of Mockup, state of the art three-dimensional scanning technique and computer numerical control production technique adopted to ensure accurate reproduction of minute details.
Approximately 1850 Metric Ton of Bronze cladding shall be erected without any external staging.
Statue development through four stages of Mockup, state of the art three-dimensional scanning technique and computer numerical control production technique adopted to ensure accurate reproduction of minute details
Project Features: The iron needed was collected from farmers of villages all around India in a form of the donation of their used farming instruments. The drive was named the 'Statue of Unity movement, over 5000 metric tonnes of iron were collected, to be used in various parts of the project.
The statue is located on a river island 'Sadhu Bet' and is about 3.5km away from the Narmada dam. A 250-meter long bridge is built to increase the connectivity to the island. Flowers will be grown on the hillocks adjoining the statue to make the 230-hectare area look like a 'valley of flowers'.
In addition to Statue, the project will also feature below attractions:
• Shrestha Bharat Bhavan
• Tribal Museum
• Museum & Audio-Visual Gallery
• A Laser, Light and Sound show
• Research Centre
• A Monumental View
• Hospitality & Entertainment
• Ferry Services
Statue of Unity Facts
• Statue of Unity will have a viewing gallery at 153 m, which can accommodate up to 200 visitors at a go, and will offer an expansive view of the dam and environs
• The StatueofUnity, the WorldsTallest Statue, will be able to withstand wind velocity up to 60 m/sec, vibration and earthquake
• 22500Mton of cement will be used to build the Statue of Unity
• The Narmada, the fifth longest river in the Indian subcontinent, runs in a rift valley between the Vindhya and Satpura ranges. The Sardar Sarovar Dam and its 200 Km long reservoir, Satpura and Vindhya mountain ranges from the gallery of the Statue of Unity
• 5,700 Mton of structural steel and 18,500 Mton of reinforcement bars will be used to build the Statue of Unity
• The StatueofUnity is being built on Sadhu Island in the Narmada river, approximately 3.2 km away from the Sardar Sarovar Dam. 3.5 km highway will be built to connect the island to Kevadia town in Gujarat.
• Iron collected through the 'Loha' campaign will be melted, converted into rebar, and used in the foundation of the Statue of Unity, making farmers across India an integral part of building the WorldsTallestStatue.
• The Shrestha Bharat Bhavan adjacent to the Statue of Unity is designed to be a 128-key, 3-star hotel facility with food service, guest amenities, and conference facilities.
• The Statue of Unity will comprise two semi-joined, composite concrete cylindrical cores, surrounded by a structural steel space frame to support the exterior cladding.
Why this statue?
What comes first in your mind when you hear the word- Paris?
- Eiffel Tower of course.
What comes first in your mind when you hear the word- New York?
- Statue of Liberty.
These statues have been a tourist location for decades now, and hence they contribute very significantly in attracting tourists. Statue of Unity, which is about two times taller than the Statue of Liberty will be doing the same for India. A statue of Sardar will constantly remind us of the great values this great nation stands for. The project will also further increase India’s soft power in the World.
This statue will be providing direct employment to 15000 people and indirectly to lakhs due to the tourism business. Biggest benefactors of this project will be the tribals living in Narmada, Bharuch and Surat districts due to a major influx of tourism. Within next few years, the region will be growing at an exponential pace. The Narmada is already the lifeline of Gujarat as it provides water to remotest regions of Gujarat. After this statue is unveiled by PM Narendra Modi on 31st October, it will be having a major share in tourism as well.
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Last Updated Oct 29, 2018, 1:35 PM IST