The Statue of Unity will stand 177 feet higher than the current world’s tallest statue, China’s Spring Temple Buddha.

New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday dedicated world’s highest statue ‘Statue of Unity’ to the nation in Kewaria of Gujarat. The Prime Minister will address the masses present on the occasion. After this, will reach ‘Wall of Unity’ and inaugurate it.

PM Modi who arrived in Gujarat last night, will pour soil and Narmada water into a ‘kalash’ to mark the birth anniversary of Sardar Patel, says a statement from his office. He will also do a virtual “abhishek” of the statue with the help of a lever and then address the gathering. Today’s event has been planned on the scale of the Republic Day celebrations and will have flypasts by Air Force planes.

The prime minister will perform a special prayer at the feet of the Statue of Unity and visit the museum and exhibition, and the viewers’ gallery. The gallery, at 153 metres, can accommodate up to 200 people at a time and offers a spectacular view of the Sardar Sarovar Dam, its reservoir, and the Satpura and Vindhya mountain ranges.

What is the Statue of Unity?
The statue is a tribute to the freedom fighter Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel. At 182 metres, it shows Patel wearing a traditional dhoti and shawl, towering over the Narmada River. 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 was first conceptualised when Narendra Modi was the Gujarat chief minister. The foundation stone for the project was laid in 2013. It took about 250 engineers and 3,400 labourers to construct the statue in 33 months.

Iron was collected from all over the country for the statue of Sardar Patel, also known as the Iron Man of India. 77,000 tonnes Concrete was used and 5,700 tonnes Steel for was used to build the framework. 1,850 tonnes of Bronze sheets were also used

Once freedom was won, V.P. Menon, it is said, wanted to retire from government service, only to be told by Sardar Patel that this was neither the time to rest nor the time to retire. Such was Sardar Patel’s firm resolve.VP Menon was made the Secretary of the States Department. In his book ‘The Story of the Integration of Indian States’, he writes about how Sardar Patel led from the front and inspired the entire team to work assiduously. He also writes that Sardar Patel was clear- first and foremost came the interests of the people of India, there would be no compromise on that.

On 15th August 1947, we celebrated the dawn of a new destiny but the work of nation building was far from complete. As Independent India’s first Home Minister, he set the stage for an administrative framework that continues to serve the nation be it in matters of day to day governance and protecting the interests of the people, particularly the poor and marginalized.

Sardar Patel was a veteran administrator. His own experience in governance, particularly in the 1920s, when he served the Ahmedabad municipality, was extremely handy when he worked towards strengthening independent India’s administrative framework. While in Ahmedabad, he did commendable work in furthering cleanliness in the city. He ensured clean and functioning drainage systems across the city. He also focussed on other aspects of urban infrastructure such as roads, electricity and education.

Today, if India is known for a vibrant cooperative sector, a large part of the credit goes to Sardar Patel. The roots of Amul can be traced back to his vision for empowering local communities, particularly women. It was Sardar Patel who also popularized the idea of cooperative housing societies, thus ensuring dignity and shelter for many.

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