'Systematic destruction' of India's institutions is treason: Rahul Gandhi
31 October, 2018, 13:15 | Author: Angel Logan
In his address to the country, the prime minister paid tribute to Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel and also praised the para-athletes, who had represented India in the Asian Para Games recently and said that their spirit to overcome challenges is inspirational.
Two high speed elevators inside can take tourists up to the statue's chest from where around 200 visitors can view the Narmada River and Sardar Sarovar Dam over it.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurated the Statue of Unity on October 31, 2018, on the occasion of 143rd birth anniversary of Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel. Patel, the first Home Minister of Independent India, is credited with uniting 500 princely states into the Union.
Mr Modi, whose nationalist government has made the statue one of its flagship projects ahead of a national election next year, arrived in Gujarat's main city of Ahmedabad on Tuesday night.
Based on award-winning sculptor Ram Sutar's creation, the statue was built by engineering firm Larsen and Toubro.
Addressing the gathering, Modi said, "This is a project we thought when I was the hief minister of Gujarat".
India's new "Statue of Unity" depicts a far greater symbolism of the Hindutva politics taking centre stage in the country. The Sardar Patel statue, twice as tall as the Statue of Liberty, has been built at a cost of Rs. 2,989 crore and is located in Gujarat, 3.2 km downstream of the Narmada dam.
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.
"Patel wanted India to be a forceful, strong, sensitive, vigilant and accommodative nation, and we're working towards that", Modi said at Wednesday's ceremony.
"The farmers of India had unparalleled faith in him... traders and industrialists preferred to work with Sardar Patel because they felt here was a stalwart who had a vision for India's economic and industrial growth", said Mr. Modi.
Online booking to visit the Statue of Unity has opened with a INR350 ($4.75) admission fee for the 153-metre-high observation deck.
The statue was reportedly built with funds allocated by the Gujarat state government, it has also received support from the federal government and individual contributions.
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