New Delhi: The Statue of Unity, a 182-metre giant structure built in honour of Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel, was dedicated to the nation on Wednesday by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
The imposing monument, touted as the world’s tallest statue, is twice the height of Statue of Liberty and is built on an islet, Sadhu Bet, near the Sardar Sarovar Dam in Narmada district.
After PM Modi unveils the statue, three IAF planes would fly past and create the tricolour in the sky by emitting saffron, white and green colours, said an official release Tuesday.
Earlier PM Modi inaugurated a 17-km-long Valley of Flowers, a tent city for tourists near the statue and a museum dedicated to the life and times of Patel.
PM Modi would also inaugurate the ‘Wall of Unity’ (a monument defining India’s unity) near the statue. At that time, three Jaguar fighter jets would fly past the structure at a low altitude, said the release.
After inaugurating the Wall of Unity, PM Modi would offer floral tributes to Patel, whose birth anniversary falls on October 31. At the same time, two MI-17 helicopters would shower flowers on the statue, it said.
On the occasion, cultural and musical programmes will be performed by the bands of Gujarat Police, armed and paramilitary forces.
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, which was used for the outer cladding of the structure. The statue’s construction had received opposition from some tribal groups in Narmada district.
A viewing gallery at a height of 135 metres has been created inside the statue to enable tourists to have a view of the dam and nearby mountain ranges.
Meanwhile in the capital, Preseident Ram Nath Kovind, Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu, Home Minister Rajnath Singh and a host of dignitaries Wednesday offered floral tributes to Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel on his birthday anniversary.
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’. Those who were present on the occasion include Union urban development minister Hardeep Puri, Delhi Lieutenant Governor Anil Baijal besides others.