The Gujarat Government has planned to install a replica of the Statue of Unity in Gandhinagar to have it pass through a “public response” test. Chief Minister Anandiben Patel who was on a visit to Kevadia to inspect progress of construction on the installation of the spillway gates, said that the state government is keen on ensuring that the final statue of Sardar Patel, which is to come up on Sadhu Bet in Narmada, meets the expectation of the people.
For this, a 20-metre tall statue will be part of the Pravasi Bhartiya Divas celebrations in Gandhinagar where NRIs and citizens will be able to register their reactions on the rough draft, to the expression on Sardar Patel’s face in the statue and its general appearance, “suggest” their thoughts about the statue to the state government.
Patel said that the state government was “welcome to suggestions” from people for the Statue of Unity design. In an aim to involve general public opinion in the design of the Statue of Unity, the state government will place a 20-metre tall replica of the statue at a vantage location between Vidhan Sabha and Mahatma Mandir in Gandhinagar during the upcoming Pravasi Bhartiya Divas between January 7 and 9.
According to a release from the state government, it would also help people “acquaint themselves with the life and times of Sardar Patel.”
The government expects the statue to be a big centre of attraction for tourists as the premises would also be an educational hub, a water research centre engaged in research of agricultural crops in the vicinity and an institute of higher learning for tribal students.
According to Patel, a replica of statue is being readied in order to “seek reviews” from visiting NRIs and people during the PBD so that the suggestions can be incorporated into the final design. Patel said, “We are readying a replica of the Statue of Unity and it will be placed at a location on the road that leads from the Vidhan Sabha to the Mahatma Mandir in Gandhinagar. The statue will be 20-metre tall. We are welcoming feedback from people that will be compiled and analyzed to ensure that the final design of the 182-metre tall statue meets the expectation of the people. In Gandhinagar, people will be able to see if the statue has proper face, expressions, posture and they can leave suggestions for us.”
The official Twitter handle of Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel Rashtriya Ekta Trust (SVPRET) on December 10 said that the “construction time of Statue of Unity is fixed at 42 months. No escalation on labour, fuel and material is allowed.”
SSNNL officials say that the replica of the statue, being readied by SVPRET, will be designed in fibre and supported by heavy metal stands to keep it in place.
“It will retain all features of the Statue of Unity. It will be an exact copy of what the Statue at Sadhu Bet is to be. The government has directed SVPRET to ensure that people feel involved in the project and their suggestions about what feel the statue gives them is to be noted. It is, however, more an attempt to market the programme with NRIs who will be visiting the country and the event, to make them aware about the upcoming tourist attraction,” an official said.
SVPRET had also used the November 27-December 1 Vadodara Chamber of Commerce and Industry (VCCI) exhibition in Vadodara as a platform for the promotion of the Statue of Unity, projected as the World’s Tallest Statue. At the event, a 7-metre tall statue was strategically placed at the entrance, attracting many a curious visitors. However, organisers of the VCCI fair say that the government had not instructed them to collect any suggestions.
Nilesh Shukla, president, VCCI, said, “The SVPRET had sent the statue to the venue and asked us to keep it there for the duration of the exhibition in order to create an awareness campaign for it. We did have several NRIs and visitors asking us about the project and they were informed about the location of the same.”