It may be recalled here that iron was collected from all over the country for the construction of the 182-meters-tall Statue of Unity, a tribute to the Iron Man of India, which saw contributions from every village in its making. The current tallest statue in the world-the 502ft high Spring Buddha Temple in China-will be eclipsed by the 597 ft. "No Indian will ever forget this day", the Prime Minister said in his speech. The PM said that his government would pay "true homage" to the leader by dedicating "Statue of Unity" to the nation.
"This is a project that we had thought about during the time I was the Chief Minister of Gujarat", Mr Modi said at the launch ceremony at the foot of the 182m-tall statue.
"Two traits synonymous with Sardar Patel are trust and integrity. All our efforts are towards realising his dream".
"I am amazed when some people of our own country dare to see this initiative from a political view and criticise us as if we have committed a huge crime". As many as 3,400 workers and 250 engineers worked round-the-clock for 42 months to make the dream project of PM Modi a reality.
At a special function held at the capital's Patel Chowk, the President and others paid floral tributes at the statue of India's first Home Minister on his 143rd birthday anniversary, which is observed as "Rashtriya Ekta Divas". The statue is made up of 1,700 tonnes of bronze, 1,850 tonnes of bronze cladding, 70,000 metric tonnes of cement and 24,500 metric tonnes of steel. From an early age, Ram Vanji Sutar had known that he wanted to be a sculptor and he grew up dreaming of creating a statue that would dwarf French sculptor Frédéric Auguste Bartholdi's 305-ft neoclassical robed female figure. He had promised the project despite criticism that India couldn't afford it.
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The BJP leaders, including Prime Minister Narendra Modi, have time and again spoken on how the Congress did not give Sadar Patel the credit and recognition he deserved. "Our commitment to scale, speed and quality in engineering has yielded this desired outcome, which is not only structurally superior but also aesthetically appealing".
The Statue of Unity will be able to withstand wind speeds of up to 180 km and also an natural disaster of up to 6.5 in richter scale.
In the lobby area at the entrance of the statue, a museum and audio visual gallery will feature 15-minute presentations on the life of Patel and the tribal culture of Gujarat, to entertain tourists awaiting their turn to go up.
Tickets to access the statue will cost Rs 350 for adults and children.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who also hails from Gujarat, dedicated Patel's statue to the people of India on the 142nd birth anniversary of the statesman's birth.