PM Modi unveiled the Statue of Unity, a 182-metre structure built as a tribute to India’s first deputy prime minister, Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel today on his birth anniversary. The statue, touted as the world’s tallest, is going to be a highly impressive structure. Having twice the height of the Statue of Liberty, it is built on an islet, Sadhu Bet, near the Sardar Sarovar Dam in Narmada district.
After prime minister unveiled the statue, three Indian Air Force (IAF) planes would fly past and create the tricolour in the sky by emitting saffron, white and green colours, said an official release on Tuesday. PM Modi will also inaugurate the ‘Wall of Unity’ (a monument defining India’s unity) near the statue. At that three Jaguar jets would fly past the structure at a low altitude.
PM Modi would also offer floral tributes to Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel. At that time, two MI-17 helicopters would shower flowers on the statue. Other major attractions on the occasion will be the cultural and musical programmes performed by bands of the Gujarat police, armed and paramilitary forces. Apart from this, there will be dance and musical performances by artistes from 29 states and two Union Territories. There could have not been a better tribute to the statesman, on his birth anniversary, who was behind the integration of this nation immediately after her independence. These cultural programmes signify how the nation has remained united and is going strong.
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 will also be inaugurated today. Apart from this, 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. Two high speed elevators have also been installed in the statue’s core to take them to the visiting gallery. The gallery can accommodate up to 200 visitors at a time. The statue is not only going to be the tallest statue across the world but also an engineering marvel. The statue is going to be in a walking pose opening up a gap of 6.4 metres between the two feet, which had to be tested to withstand wind velocity. The Statue can withstand wind speeds of up to 180 kmph. It can also survive earthquakes with magnitudes up to 6.5 on the Richter scale, at a depth of 10 km and within a radius of 12 km of the statue.
The nation is going to give a fitting tribute to the Iron Man of India on his birth anniversary. And things seem to be set up in the perfect way for unveiling the Statue of Unity in the great leader’s honour. It was time that the nation acknowledged the precious contribution of the legendary leader and there could have not been a better way to symbolize his legacy. It is welcome that the nation is moving on the path of celebrating the values of unity and national integration that Patel represented. The Statue of Unity is going to be unveiled today not only honours Patel but also celebrates his legacy and leadership.