Modi Unveils World’s Tallest Statue of Sardar Patel on 143rd B’day

Addressing the nation after the inauguration, Modi said that the day will be remembered in the history of India.

Updated31 Oct 2018, 09:22 PM IST
India
8 min read

PM Modi on Wednesday, 31 October, unveiled Sardar Patel's 'Statue of Unity' on the banks of the river Narmada in Gujarat's Kevadiya.

Addressing the nation after the inauguration, Modi said that the day will be remembered in the history of India.

PM Modi Pays Floral Tribute to ‘Statue of Unity’ in Gujarat

PM Modi Pays Floral Tribute to ‘Statue of Unity’ in Gujarat

Posted by The Quint on Tuesday, October 30, 2018

“Events like today are very important in a country's history and such events are difficult to erase. It is a historic and inspiring occasion for all Indians. I am fortunate to dedicate this statue of Sardar Sahab to the nation,” he said.

He also slammed the Opposition for politicising the issue and said that remembering heroes of the nation is not a crime.

Snapshot
  • Touted as the world’s tallest statue, the project has been completed in a record 33 months
  • The statue has been built using over 70,000 tonnes of cement, 18,500 tonnes of reinforcement steel, 6,000 tonnes of structural steel and 1,700 metric tonnes of bronze
  • The foundation stone of the statue was laid by PM Modi on 31 October 2013
  • Local tribal leaders allege that resources were wasted on the Statue of Unity

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4:46 AM, 30 Oct

Locals Wasteful Expenditure on the Statue

Locals have alleged that people's hard-earned money was wasted on projects like the Statue of Unity even though several villages of the area are still deprived of basic facilities like schools, hospitals and drinking water.

“If Sardar Patel could see the mass destruction of natural resources and injustice done to us, he would cry. When we are raising our issues, we are persecuted by police. Why you are not ready to listen to our plight?”
Tribal leaders, in a letter to PM Modi

Earlier this month, tribal activists had announced that people living in 72 villages near the dam will join the protest on 31 October by not cooking food.

"We have also urged tribals of the eastern belt of Gujarat, from Dang till Ambaji, to join our protest by observing bandh that day. We are confident that the entire tribal population will stand up against the injustice" said tribal leader Anand Mazgaokar.

4:47 AM, 30 Oct

Gujarat Congress Targets Modi Government

The Gujarat Congress targeted the BJP government and PM Modi over the non-completion of Narmada canal network.

Leader of Opposition in Gujarat Assembly, Paresh Dhanani, wrote a letter to Chief Minister Vijay Rupani and demanded that the Narmada project should be declared as a national project to give a "fitting tribute" to Sardar Patel.

Former Gujarat CM Shankersinh Vaghela also attacked PM Modi, saying that the statue is just a "marketing tool" for the BJP.

4:46 AM, 30 Oct

Local Tribes to Boycott Inaugural Event

The headmen of 22 villages situated near the Sardar Sarovar Dam on Monday wrote an open letter to PM Modi, saying that villagers will not welcome him at the inauguration of the Statue of Unity on 31 October.

Local tribal leaders have also announced a boycott of the function citing destruction of natural resources due to the memorial.

"These forests, rivers, waterfalls, land and agriculture supported us for generations. We survived on them. But, everything is being destroyed now, and celebrations are also planned. Don't you think it’s akin to celebrating someone's death? We feel so," the letter signed by sarpanch of 22 villages said.

“We all villagers want to tell you with extreme grief that we will not welcome you on 31 October. Even if you come here like an unwanted guest, you are not welcome here.”
4:46 AM, 30 Oct

Preparations for the Inauguration of Statue of Unity

Gujarat Chief Secretary JN Singh on Monday, 29 October, visited the site to take stock of ongoing preparations.

"We have invited dance troupes from across the country to perform here during the inauguration. Air Force planes and helicopters will shower flowers on the statue during unveiling. I am here today to see how we can synchronise them," Singh told reporters.


Published: 30 Oct 2018, 05:45 AM IST
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