In a major boost to the tourism for the iconic Statue of Unity, the government has decided to make the site accessible via Railways. Recently, our President Ram Nath Kovind has laid the foundation stone for the Kevadiya railway station, which when built, would provide a direct access to the Statue of Unity, which is having a massive footfall of over 30000 tourists every day.
The President laid the foundation stone for the Kevadia Colony Railway station, in an elaborate ceremony attended by Railway Minister Piyush Goyal, Gujarat CM Vijay Rupani and Gujarat governor Shri OP Kohli. To be built at an estimated cost of more than Rs. 20 crores, the station aims to provide a direct connectivity to the Statue of Unity via Railways.
To quote a press report, as stated by the Financial Express, “The broad gauge line will connect Kevadiya colony with the Indian Railways network via Chandod, Moriya, Tilakwada and Garudeshwar. For connecting Kevadiya, the 18-km section between Chandod and Dabhoi will undergo gauge conversion and a new line will be laid in 32-km long Chandod-Kevadiya section.”
For those unaware, Statue of Unity is an iconic tribute to the charismatic leader, Sardar Vallabhbhai J. Patel, which is situated near the Sardar Sarovar dam at Gujarat. Built at a cost of Rs. 3000 crores, this is the world’s tallest statue, which is accessible via rail, road, and air.
However, there is no direct rail or air connectivity to the same, the nearest destinations being Vadodara, Bharuch, and Ankleshwar, which are more than 70 km away. As such, Kevadiya, being barely 7 kilometers away from the iconic statue, is an emerging tourist hub. Sadly, it has no direct link to the Indian Railways, the closest being Miyagram Karjan, which is more than 60 kilometers away.
This is why a railway station has been proposed to be set up in Kevadiya for a hassle free connectivity, given that the Statue of Unity is now emerging as a major tourist hub in the state of Gujarat. If all goes well, the construction of the railway station shall be done by September next year, and the station might be inaugurated by early 2020.
Interestingly, this railway station is more than just a mere connection to the Statue of Unity, for it will also have the following features:-
- a) Three storey building with various passenger amenities such as waiting room/s, VIP room/s, information centre for international tourists and the executive lounge.
- b) An art gallery on the third floor, that will encourage local art and handicrafts
- c) Possession of Green Building Certification, one of the first in India to do so.
Given that the Statue of Unity is growing in popularity by leaps and bounds, it is only apt that the destination be directly connected by all means possible. This is why a railway station for the Statue of Unity is more than welcome, though it will make some people jealous, given that they didn’t expect someone else than their beloved dynasty to be accorded such honor.