Work on the worlds tallest statue of the iron man of India,Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel,to be constructed near the Sardar Sarovar dam in Narmada,will have to wait as Chief Minister Narendra Modi cancelled his October 2 trip to Narmada dam site to lay foundation stone for the statue.
The plan to construct the 182-metre-high Statue of Unity was announced by Modi on October 2010,but the Sardar Vallabhbhai Rashtriya Ekta Trust,the special purpose vehicle created to carry out the project,only recently hired a US-based consulting agency,Turner Consulting Inc.,for the project.
Modi was supposed to lay the foundation stone of the statue near the dam site on Mahatma Gandhis birth anniversary and district administration was preparing for his visit in full swing.
Sardar Sarovar Narmada Nigam Limited (SSNNL) officials said the programme has been postponed temporarily as they could not received confirmation on the date from the CM office.
We had finalised the date on October 2 and were waiting for confirmation from the CM office. We had to cancel the programme as CMO did not confirm the date, managing director,SSNNL,S Jagadeesan,said.
The project is supposed to cost an estimated Rs 2,500-crore,though the consulting agency hired for the project will come out with a revised estimate. The statue will come up at Sadhu Bet,situated at a distance of 3.2 kilometres from Narmada dam.
Narmada district collector PR Sompura said the district administration was preparing for the CM visit at the dam site but stopped it due to last-moment cancellation of the visit. SSNNL authorities had informed us of the CM visit on October 2,but we were later told the visit was cancelled, he said.
Sources said the programme could not be deferred till October 31,Sardar Patels birth anniversary,because election code of conduct might prevent him from laying the foundation stone.
The move to lay foundation stone for the statue assumes importance in the light of the upcoming assembly elections and the current political situation when former CM Keshubhai Patel,who holds significant hold over the Patel community to which Sardar Patel belonged,poses a political challenge to the BJP-led by Modi in the state.
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