National unity day celebrated on Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel’s 143rd birth anniversary

National unity day celebrated on Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel’s 143rd birth anniversary
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NEW DELHI/AHMEDABAD: Prime Minister Narendra Modi has unveiled the Statue of Unity, built as a tribute to freedom movement icon Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel on his 143rd birth anniversary today. Air Force planes showered flowers on the statue in a grand inaugural event on the banks of the Narmada river in Gujarat as PM Modi dedicated it to the nation.

Built at a cost of Rs. 2,989 crore, the statue depicts Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel, India’s first Home Minister, wearing a traditional dhoti and shawl, towering over the Narmada River. Iron was collected from all over the country for the statue of Sardar Patel, also known as the Iron Man of India. At 182-metre, the statue is touted as the world’s tallest -it is 177 feet higher than China’s Spring Temple Buddha, currently the world’s tallest statue.

The statue has been designed by Padma Bhushan-winning sculptor Ram V Sutar and has been built by Larsen and Toubro and the state-run Sardar Sarovar Narmada Nigam Ltd. It took about 250 engineers and 3,400 labourers to construct the statue in 33 months.

The statue will have a viewing gallery at the height of 193 metres from the sea level which can accommodate 200 visitors at a time. This gallery, at 153 metres height, will offer a view of the Sardar Sarovar Dam, its reservoir, and the Satpura and Vindhya mountain ranges

Today is a historic day for India… I want to start by congratulating all Indians including those settled abroad.
It is this feeling of being united, of togetherness, that has kept India going for thousands of years.
I thank all those who came forward and took part in the ‘Run for Unity’ today.
Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel was responsible for us living in a United India today. It was his efforts after Independence that led to India being what it is today.
Because of your blessings, I have been given the honour to be the one who dedicates this amazing statue to the nation. I am truly humbled and feel truly blessed. I thank you all for giving me this opportunity.

I was given the first piece of iron that was contributed for this marvel. I am giving it for you all to see at the museum here at the Statue of Unity.
This is a project that we had thought about during the time I was the Chief Minister of Gujarat 
Earlier today, Home Minister Rajnath Singh and Union Minister of Youth Affairs and Sports Rajyavardhan Rathore flagged off the ‘Run for Unity’ in the national capital.

Nearly 12,000 people are said to be taking part in the marathon in New Delhi, including 3,000 school children, 300 ex-servicemen and a number of senior citizens, despite the thick haze that has engulfed the region.

At 597 feet or 182 metres, the Statue of Unity will be the world’s tallest statue. It is 177 feet higher than China’s Spring Temple Buddha, which was the tallest statue till now, and approximately five times taller than the Statue of Christ the Redeemer in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

This statue is built on an island in the Narmada, the fifth longest river in the Indian subcontinent, which runs in a rift valley between the Vindhya and Satpura ranges. The region is famous for its hardwood forests and sanctuaries.

The Statue of Unity was built at an estimated cost of Rs. 2,989 crore.
It was designed by Padma Bhushan-winning sculptor Ram V Sutar and built by construction firm Larsen and Toubro and the state-run Sardar Sarovar Narmada Nigam Ltd (SSNNL).

It is being built approximately 3.5 kms south of the Sardar Sarovar Dam, the second largest concrete gravity dam (by volume) in the world.
Visitors will be able to use high-speed lifts to reach the Statue’s viewing gallery, and enjoy a panoramic view of the Sardar Sarovar Dam and its 256 km long reservoir, the beautiful Vindhya and Satpura mountain ranges, and the 12 km long Garudeshwar reservoir, from an astounding height of around 500 feet.

It has the longest canal network in the world and includes the Narmada Main Canal, around 2,500 km of branch canals, 5,500 km of distributaries, and other associated channels.
The Statue of Unity will include a state-of-the-art museum that will comprise audio-visual exhibits depicting the life and times of the great Indian leader and statesman, Sardar Vallabhbai Patel.

The statue will be accessed by a boat ride of 3.5 km, to avoid vehicular traffic and pollution.
The statue has been designed by Padma Bhushan-winning sculptor Ram V Sutar and has been built by Larsen and Toubro and the state-run Sardar Sarovar Narmada Nigam Ltd. It took about 250 engineers and 3,400 labourers to construct the statue in 33 months.