Narendra Modi intends to stand tall on his promise of the tallest Sardar Vallabhai statue ever built. So much so that he has proposed to put aside Rs 200 crore of Union Budget as aid to the Gujarat government for the building of Sardar Patel's "Statue of Unity".
In October 2013, Modi had announced the construction of the 182-metre-tall statue of ‘Iron Man’ Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel. Right from the very beginning of his campaign for the prime ministerial seat, Modi has pushed the Statue of Unity project, costs for which have been estimated at Rs 2,500 crore, proposed to be developed on a public private partnership model. The statue will be placed at Sadhu Bet, an island located 3 km from Sardar Sarovar dam. The statue would be nearly twice the iconic Statue of Liberty, which stands at 93 metre tall.
Supporters and citizens have been urged to pool in resources, right from iron and wood to financial donations, to turn this mammoth project into reality. In December 2013, Modi had flagged off close to 100 trucks sent across India to collect the iron tools donated by farmers for the project — which was billed as a ‘fitting tribute to Iron Man Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel’. However, considering the uncertain quality of the metal collected, it was later decided not to use the iron donated by the farmers for building the statue.
And now, as part of his maiden budget, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley has proposed Rs 200 crore aid towards the construction of the structure. The Gujarat state government has already made a provision of Rs 100 crore for the Statue of Unity in the budget for 2012-13. It must be noted, however, that during the first budget session on Monday, Jaitley in his speech in the Lok Sabha pointed at India's poor performance in the Human Development Index Survey. "India's performance continues to be below global average in most of the human development index indicators like life expectancy at birth, mean years of schooling, expected years of schooling and even the per capita income." And yet, a substantial amount of the people's money is being considered to be committed for building this statue.
Here's the official video on the statue of unity project:
Statue of Unity in numbers
- 182 metres is the height of the Statue of Unity, double that of the Statue of Liberty
- Rs 2,000 crore is the estimated cost of the project’s first phase
- 5,000 tonnes of iron will be used for the whole project
- 600 tonnes of iron is expected to be collected in the form of donation from farmers
- 42 months is the time in which the first phase of the project will be completed