A tributary endeavour to the Iron Man of India, the Statue of Unity is an iconic 182-metre-tall statue situated on the isle of Sadhu-Bet. Located between the Mountain Ranges of Vindhyachal and Satpuda, this monument has many other attractive tourist spots in its proximity such as the Valley of Flowers, the Shoolpaneshwar Sanctuary and sacred temple, the Sardar Sarovar Dam and its water dykes, the scenic Zarvani Falls and majestic palaces of Rajpipla. The grand monument along with a picturesque backdrop makes it an ideal destination for eco-tourism.
The Government of Gujarat had assigned the task of constructing the Statue of Unity to the ‘Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel Rashtriya Ekta Trust’ (SVPRET), chaired by the Hon’ble Chief Minister of Gujarat. SVPRET has executed the project and undertaken all activities related to the construction of Statue of Unity through the Sardar Sarovar Narmada Nigam Limited (SSNNL).
A high-power Governing Body, headed by the Chief Minister of Gujarat and Executive Committee, headed by the Chief Secretary, Govt. of Gujarat respectively and comprising of other senior Secretaries, take care of various project related decisions.
SVPRET had appointed a consortium comprising Turner Project Management India Private Limited, Meinhardt India Private Limited and Michael Graves & Associates Inc., as PMC (Project Management Consultant). Many of the consortium members have been involved in developing some of the world’s tallest structures, including the Burj Khalifa in Dubai.
SSNNL management team & its engineers have built one of the tallest concrete gravity dams in the world and an irrigation system, which is one of the top irrigation networks of the world.
India’s largest engineering and construction company Larsen & Toubro was assigned the responsibility for designing, engineering, procurement, construction, operation and maintenance of the project.
Noted sculptor Ram V. Sutar, a Padma Bhushan Awardee, who has created over 40 monumental sculptures over the past 40 years was designated as the sculptor for the Statue of Unity.
A countrywide program which covered several villages for ‘Loha Campaign’ were conducted during the year 2013-14. A total of 169,078 used farm tools and soil samples were collected from farmers across the country as their voluntary contribution to the iconic project. In this `Loha Campaign’ which is believed to be one of the largest social mobilization drives in the world, 134.25 metric tonnes of iron was received from villages across the nation. This iron was converted into reinforcement bars weighing 109.17 metric tonnes and used in the construction of the project. Soil collected from various parts of the country was used to make the symbolic ‘Wall of Unity’.
The Statue of Unity stands as a naturalistic and inspirational portrayal of Sardar Patel, donning his characteristic garments and a pose that reflects dignity, confidence, iron will and kindness. Bronze cladding adds richness and visual appeal to the Statue. Sophisticated, state-of-the-art surveying technologies like, Light Detection and Ranging (LIDAR) and Telescopic Logging were used for the construction of the Statue.
The construction of this National Monument utilised approximately 70,000 metric tonnes of cement, 18,500 metric tonnes of reinforcement bars and 6,000 metric tonnes of structural steel. The surface area of about 22,500 square metres has been clad with around 1,700 metric tonnes of bronze.