A team of engineers is conducting a geological survey of the site of the Statue of Unity in Sadhu Bet in Narmada to kick start the first phase of construction of the proposed 182-meters tall statue – a pet project of Prime Minister Narendra Modi. After a detailed report of the geological survey, the work on laying the foundation for the monument will commence.
A team of engineers of the consortium of Turner Construction, Michael Graves and Associates and the Meinhardt Group are supervising the ongoing geological soil survey that began a few days ago. As part of the process, the team of engineers is ascertaining the nature of the strata of the soil where the raft foundation of the statue will be constructed. An engineer of the consortium at the site said that the quartzite hillock will see a foundation of about 52 meters for which the geological tests are being carried out.
“The current machines have been fixed at the site to ensure that the founding level of the surface has no anomalies that can be hazardous for the structure. The rock is very solid and the foundation will be as deep as 52 metres once the construction begins but it is important to check if there are any other aspects that must be considered as the preliminary tests were not able to go into the depths of the rock,” the engineer said. The consortium will hand over a final report of the analysis to the Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel Rashtriya Ekta Trust (SVPRET) in due course.
According to the data available with the SVPRET, for the raft foundation for the monument, the recommended safe bearing capacity is 2,300 KPa. The site has already been termed safe from seismic hazards. SSNNL engineers say there will be no blasting activity at the site during construction. Instead, advanced slicing technology will be used to shape the base so as to prevent any disturbance to the base of the hillock due to blasting.
The geological survey comes after a team of engineers from L&T Chennai conducted a thorough advanced Light Detection And Ranging (LiDAR) survey — a remote sensin method using light as pulsed laser to measure elevations accurately, including 3D data regarding the shape and surface of the earth. Engineers say that soon advanced cameras will be installed at the site to enable higher level of engineering teams track the progress at the site via satellite images. In October 2014, the Government of Gujarat had issued the work-order for the construction to L&T Ltd, Chennai. The statue depicting Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel will be spread across 19,700 sq. meter, surrounded by an enormous man-made lake spread over 12 kms.