While the United States had been gifted the Statue of Liberty by France to commemorate the 200th year of its founding, Gujarat will go one up on the French by gifting a mammoth Statue of Unity to the country.
Chief minister Narendra Modi announced the creation of a 182 m tall statue of Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel, which will be the world's tallest statue.
The statue will be called Statue of Unity and will be placed at Sadhu Bet, an island located 3 km away from the Sardar Sarovar Dam in the riverbed of Narmada. Incidentally, the Statue of Liberty is 93 m tall.
The CM made this announcement on the eve of the beginning its his 10th year as the Gujarat chief minister. He referred to this ambitious structure as yet another gift to the country after projects like the Mahatma Mandir convention hall at Gandhinagar and memorial of Shyamji Krushna Varma at Mandvi, Kachchh.
Talking to the media at GLS auditorium, Law Garden at a press conference organized by the state Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on Wednesday, the CM explained the concept of the monument. He said every society has a history and great men who inspire new generations. Now, in the tradition of immortalizing the great men of Gujarat like Mahatma Mandir at Gandhinagar and the memorial of Shyamji Krushna Varma at Mandvi, Kachchh, "we will be building the Statue of Unity - the tallest memorial of Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel in the world."
Explaining the details of the statue, Modi said, "It will be having almost double the height than the Statue of Liberty in the USA and five times taller than the statue of Christ the Redeemer in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. It will be a unique memorial which will have a museum depicting the life of Sardar Patel, research centre for subjects like good governance and agriculture technology, which were close to Sardar's heart."
The project will be developed with public participation through a registered society or trust under the chairmanship of the chief minister. "As the memorial will be the tallest in the world, we will be consulting and inviting experts from across the globe.
We will also be developing a dedicated website for the project, where everybody can make their suggestions for the rare project. Once the various technical studies like geographical survey and environmental study, project plan will be prepared. Once finished with these minutiae, it would be possible to complete the monument in 3 years. Presently, various experts and agencies are being searched."
The monument will have a lift and visitors can go to the top of the structure and have a panoramic view from Sardar Patel's eye.
According to Modi, the memorial will be a new chapter in the development of the tribal belt in the state, as it will open employment opportunities for the local tribal youth and boost tourism in the state.