- Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel’s statue or known as the Statue of Unity is situated in the Indian state of Gujarat. Sardar Vallabhai Patel (1875–1950), who was the first Home Minister of India. After completion of the construction work, his statue is the world’s tallest statue standing at a height of 182 meters.
- The project was first announced in 2010 and the construction of the statue began in October 2013 by Larsen & Toubro, who received the contract for Rs 2,989 crore from the Govt of Gujarat. The sculptor was designed by Indian sculptor Ram V. Sutar.
- To support the construction of the statue, the Statue of Unity movement was started to support the construction of the statue. This movement helped a lot to collect the iron needed for the statue. By asking farmers to donate their scrap farming instruments. It is heard that by 2016, a total of 135 metric tonnes of scrap iron had been gathered. Out of 135 metric tonnes, about 109 metric tonnes of it were utilized to make the foundation of the statue after processing.
- The statue is located at the shore of the Narmada River facing the Sardar Sarovar Dam. The statue was inaugurated by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on October 31, 2018, on the 143rd birth anniversary of Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel.
- On 15th December 2013, a marathon entitled “Run For Unity” was held in Surat and in Vadodara to support the project.
- The world’s tallest “Statue of Unity” is a pride of India and a decent honor to the fearless who undivided and integrated India, our precious Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel. He was highly respected for his leadership in uniting the 552 states of India to form the single Union of India.
- After studying several statues of Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel across the country, a team of historians, artists, and academics choose to proceed with a design submitted by the Indian sculptor, Ram V. Sutar. The expression, posture and pose justify the dignity, confidence, iron will, and kindness that his personality expel. Three models of the design measuring 3 feet, 18 feet, and 30 feet were created at the beginning. Once the design of the largest model was approved, a detailed 3D-scan was designed which model the basis for the bronze cladding cast in a workshop in China.
- India’s leading infrastructure company L&T won the contract on 27 October 2014 for its lowest bid of Rs 2,989 crore equivalent to Rs 36 billion in 2018 for the design, construction, and maintenance. They initiated the construction on 31 October 2014. In phase-1 of the project, Rs 1,347 crore was spent for the main statue, Rs 235 crore spent for the exhibition hall and convention center, Rs 83 crore spent for the bridge connecting the memorial to the mainland and Rs 657 crore spent for the maintenance of the structure for 15 years after its completion.
- As per the L&T official, they have employed over 3000 workers and 250 engineers for the construction of the statue. The foundation of the statue utilized 210,000 cubic meters of cement concrete, 6500 tonnes of structural steel, and 18500 tonnes of thickened steel. The outer part together with 1700 tonnes of bronze plates and 1850 tonnes of bronze surrounding which in turn include 565 macro and 6000 micro panels.
- The total height of the structure is 240 m (790 ft), with a base of 58 m (190 ft) and the statue of 182 m (597 ft). The height of 182 was specially chosen to match the number of seats in the Gujarat Legislative Assembly.
- The statue is built in a way that can stand up against winds of up to 180 km/hour and earthquakes measuring 6.5 on the Richter scale which is at a depth of 10 km and within a radius of 12 km of the statue.
- It took 57 months to complete, 15 months for planning, 40 months for construction and two months for handing over by the consortium.
- To make sure seamless execution of the whole project, an independent society named Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel Rashtriya Ekta Trust (SVPRET) has been established under the Chairmanship of Chief Minister, Government of Gujarat.
- The total cost of the project was estimated to be about Rs 2,063 crore equivalent to Rs 25 billion in 2018 by the government. The tender bids for phase-1 were invited in October 2013 and were closed in November 2013.
- This statue was built by the Public-Private Partnership (PPP) model. Most of the money allocated by Gujarat Govt i.e. Rs 500 crore for the project in the budget from 2012-2015. Rs 239 crore was also allocated in the 2014-15 Union Budget for the construction of the statue.
- Funds were also shared by the Public Sector Undertakings under the Corporate Social Responsibility scheme.
Issues faced during the construction:
- Local tribals belonging to the Tadvi caste against land acquisition for the construction of tourism infrastructure nearby the statue. Although, they have been offered cash, land compensation, and provided jobs.
- People of nearby villages such as Kevadia, Kothi, Waghodia, Limbdi, Navagam, and Gora against the construction of the statue and claimed the refund of the land rights over 375 hectares (927 acres) of land obtained earlier for the construction of the dam as well as the constitution of new Garudeshwar subdistrict.
- They also disagree with the development of the Kevadia Area Development Authority (KADA) and the construction of the Garudeshwar weir-cum-causeway project. At last, the government of Gujarat has to accept their demands.