Statue of Unity inauguration HIGHLIGHTS: PM Modi unveils world’s tallest statue, credits Sardar Patel for united India

Statue of Unity (Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel Statue) Inauguration HIGHLIGHTS: On the occasion of birth anniversary of Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel, PM Modi inaugurated the world's tallest statue - Statue of Unity to the nation. Follow all the latest news.

By: Express Web Desk | New Delhi | Updated: October 31, 2018 7:57:07 pm
Statue of Unity inauguration LIVE Updates, pm modi, Statue of Unity Inauguration HIGHLIGHTS: At 182 meters, Statue of Unity is said to be the world’s tallest statue. (Express Photo By Bhupendra Rana)

Statue of Unity Inauguration HIGHLIGHTS: Eight years after proposing the ambitious project, Prime Minister Narendra Modi Wednesday unveiled the Statue of Unity – the world’s tallest statue at 182 metres -built in honour of freedom fighter and India’s first Home Minister Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel. The statue stands on Sadhu island on the Narmada in Gujarat and is twice the height of the Statue of Liberty in the US.

Dedicating the statue to the nation, PM Modi said, “Statue of Unity is an answer to all those who question the existence of India. The height of the statue is to remind the youth that the future of the country will be as huge as this. It is also symbolic of our engineering and technology affordability.”

Crediting Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel for “uniting India,” PM Modi said, “Had Sardar Patel not united the country, we would need visas to see lions or pay homage at Somnath or view the Charminar in Hyderabad. Patel converted India’s diversity into its biggest strength. The country is today following the path shown by Patel and is moving towards becoming the world’s greatest economic and strategic power.” Also present at the venue were BJP chief Amit Shah, Gujarat Chief Minister Vijay Rupani, Deputy CM Nitinbhai Patel.

Built at a cost of Rs 2,989 crores, the project took 42 months to complete. Apart from the statue itself, there are five other related sites that are constructed along with the world’s tallest statue. These include the walkway, the ticket counter, the food court, the four-lane approach highway, and the ‘Shrestha Bharat Bhavan’- a 52-room three-star lodging facility for the visitors coming to see the monument.

Read | PM Modi unveils Sardar Patel’s Statue of Unity: ‘It’s an answer to those who question India’s existence’

Live Blog

On the birth anniversary of Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel, Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurated the world's tallest statue - 'Statue of Unity' in Gujarat. Follow HIGHLIGHTS in Malayalam, Bengali, Tamil, Hindi

16:58 (IST) 31 Oct 2018
PM Modi shares pictures of event
16:26 (IST) 31 Oct 2018
Gujarat CM Rupani thanks PM Modi for Statue
16:02 (IST) 31 Oct 2018
Statue constructed in 33 months
15:15 (IST) 31 Oct 2018
Rajnath Singh thanks PM Modi for Statue of Unity
14:51 (IST) 31 Oct 2018
Congress president slams inauguration of Statue
13:50 (IST) 31 Oct 2018
Patidar group takes out Karmavir rally to mark Sardar Patel's anniversary
12:25 (IST) 31 Oct 2018
11:51 (IST) 31 Oct 2018
PM Modi inaugurates Wall of Unity
11:32 (IST) 31 Oct 2018
Statue of Unity will improve livelihood, promote job creation & tourism: PM Modi

During his address, Prime Minister Modi also remembered the efforts of tribals, farmers and locals in the area. "The contribution of the tribals, farmers and villagers, who helped make the Statue of Unity cannot be ignored. By lending your efforts in building this, you have also scripted your names in the history. The state will bring prosperity to the tribals, farmers and villagers in this region. It will lead to job creation, better the livelihoods and promote tourism in the area," PM Modi said. 

11:27 (IST) 31 Oct 2018
Amazed to see people giving 'political colour' to Statue of Unity: PM Modi

Launching an attack on those opposing the Statue of Unity, PM Modi says he is "amazed" that protesters are giving it a "political colour." "The statue is a symbol of country's respect to this great man. Praising great icons like Patel has also brought us criticism. It seems like we have committed a big crime."

11:21 (IST) 31 Oct 2018
Statue answer to all those who question the existence of India: PM Modi

"Statue of Unity is a symbol of India's integrity, India's resolve, India's determination and India's unity... It shows that India was, is and always will be eternal. It is a symbol that 'Ek Bharat is Shreshth Bharat'," PM Modi said, asking the crowd to repeat the chant

"The statue is an answer to all those who question the existence and integrity of India. The height of the statue is to remind the youth that the future of the country will be as huge as this. It is also symbolic of our engineering and technology affordability. Every day, the artisans have worked on the project round-the-clock. Just like the millions of others, even I aspired that the man who did so much for India should get the respect that he deserves"

11:11 (IST) 31 Oct 2018
PM Modi lists achievements of Sardar Patel

Crediting Sardar Patel for keeping the country united, PM Modi said, "It is because of him that we are able to go from Kutch to Kohima, from Kargil to Kanyakumari easily. Without his efforts, we would have to take visa to go to Gir forests, Somnath Temple and to see Charminar in Hyderabad. If the Sardar had no resolution, a direct train from Kashmir to Kanyakumari could not be envisaged. Without Patel, it would have been difficult for us to build the administrative framework like the Civil service. He is also responsible for bringing women in politics."

11:06 (IST) 31 Oct 2018
Sardar Patel converted India's diversity into its biggest strength: PM Modi

"There were many who thought that a diverse country like India can never remain united. They considered our diversity our biggest weakness. But Sardar Patel converted this into our biggest strength. India is following the path shown by Patel and is moving towards becoming the world's greatest economic and strategic power," PM Modi said. 

11:02 (IST) 31 Oct 2018
Should never forget the sacrifices of Sardar Patel: PM Modi

Recounting Patel's address, PM Modi said, "Sardar Patel in his speech on July 5, 1947, said - 'Our mutual quarrels, mutual animosity in front of our enemies is the big reason behind our defeat.' Now we don't have to repeat this mistake and neither have to be a slave to anyone again. We should never forget his sacrifices. This is the tallest statue in the world. People across the world will visit this site and remember it. They will also remember the great people of India."

10:57 (IST) 31 Oct 2018
Sardar Patel responsible for united India: PM Modi

"Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel was responsible for us living in a united India today. Due to his efforts after Independence, India is what it is today. It is this feeling of being united, of togetherness, that has kept India going for thousands of years. We celebrate him and his tremendous contribution for the country. I was given the first piece of iron that was contributed for this marvel. I am giving it for you all to see at the museum here at the Statue of Unity," says PM Modi

10:55 (IST) 31 Oct 2018
World's tallest statue inaugurated
10:54 (IST) 31 Oct 2018
PM Modi remembers farmers who gave soil for statue

In order to build the Statue of Unity, lakhs of farmers from all over India came together, gave their tools, portions of the soil and thus, a mass movement developed. Today's event is an inspiration to the future citizens of the country.

10:48 (IST) 31 Oct 2018
No Indian will ever forget today: PM Modi

'Today is a day that will be remembered in the history of India. No Indian will ever forget this day. Events like today are very very important in a country's history and such events are difficult to erase. It is a historic and inspiring occasion for all Indians. It is Patel's efforts that have led our country to what it is today. It is my honour that I got a chance to pay the tribute to the great man. When I visualised the project, I had never thought that I would unveil it as the prime minister of the country. The event portrays the face of united India. I also thank the people of Gujarat for welcoming him,' PM Modi said, 

10:43 (IST) 31 Oct 2018
Patriotism is the foundation on which our culture is built: PM Modi

Prime Minister Narendra Modi is addressing the gathering. Paying a tribute to the Iron man of India, Modi remembered Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel on his birth anniversary. "Today the entire country is celebrating Rashtriya Ekta Divas to mark the birth anniversary of Patel. The youth is participating in the Run for Unity. I would like to congratulate them all. The patriotism is the foundation on which our culture is built," he said. 

10:33 (IST) 31 Oct 2018
World's largest statue unveiled

Prime Minister Narendra Modi unveiled the world's largest statue - Statue of Unity. He poured soil and Narmada water into a ‘kalash’ to mark the birth anniversary of Sardar Patel. He also did a virtual “abhishek” of the statue with the help of a lever.

10:30 (IST) 31 Oct 2018
Hear it from the architects of Statue of Unity
10:28 (IST) 31 Oct 2018
Souvenirs presented to Prime Minister Modi

Gujarat Chief Minister Vijay Rupani and Deputy CM Nitinbhai Patel presented a memento to Prime Minister Modi. Also present at the venue is BJP chief Amit Shah. Governors of Karnataka and Madhya Pradesh, Vajubhai Vala and Anandiben Patel are also present for the inauguration ceremony of world's tallest statue - Statue of Unity. The mementoes are made of the same metal that was used to clad the statue. Just like Patel's idol, the mementoes will not age for the next 100 years. 

10:22 (IST) 31 Oct 2018
Pakistani, British and Chinese media on World's tallest statue

Pakistan’s Express Tribune states that the statue has “became an example of Modi’s Bharatiya Janata Party’s (BJP) efforts to appropriate a popular national figure, as Patel was a member of the Congress Party, which now sits in opposition to BJP in India’s parliament.” Geo News, meanwhile, calling it “a burst of nationalist fervour”, highlights that “there is also a political motive to the mega project, with India heading into a campaign for a national election early next year.”

The South China Post, which carries an AFP report, states that the “world’s biggest statue could quickly be outdone by a monument to a Hindu warrior king in the sea off Mumbai” referring to Chhatrapati Shivaji’s statue in Mumbai. The report adds that it overlooks the isolated Sardar Sarovar Dam, which was PM Modi’s pet project

BBC has highlighted how local farmers are “aghast” that the government has spent so much money on the statue. It quotes a local farmer saying, “Instead of spending money on a giant statue, the government should have used it for farmers in the district.” It refers to a 2016 government report which says the Narmada district is home to several residents who live in hunger, while primary school enrolment is falling and malnourishment persists.

10:20 (IST) 31 Oct 2018
What does the US media say about Statue of Unity?

A report in the Washington Post states that the Statue of Unity “will give India bragging rights to the world’s tallest statue — a nearly 600-foot creation that says as much about India’s global aspirations as it does about the political ego of its leader”. It adds, “The $408 million gold-coloured colossus also spills over into present-day politics. It is considered a trifecta for Prime Minister Narendra Modi: a nod to his Hindu political base, a landmark site in his home state, and a showcase of the nation’s growing prosperity and status as a rising global power.”

Describing it as an unofficial launch of the BJP’s 2019 election campaign, it adds that “Modi seems to relish the big-splash attention of the projects.”

This report was carried by several organisations, including Canada’s National Post and Pakistan’s Dawn. Read more

10:17 (IST) 31 Oct 2018
Making of Statue of Unity: The timelines

Oct 2013: Foundation stone laid by then Gujarat CM Narendra Modi

Oct 2014: L&T awarded contract. Construction of the base begins by reducing Sadhu Bet hillock to size

April 2015: Geo-technical and hydrological surveys completed. Wind tunnel tests undertaken. Detailed light, shadow study conducted to determine the orientation

Dec 2015: Round-the-clock concreting of 3-metre-deep raft foundation for six days to ensure bearing capacity

Jan 2016: Construction of RCC cores begins, beginning with feet of the statue

Oct 2016: Construction of RCC cores completed up to 25 metres of the statue, just above the ankles

June 2017: Statue core wall, statue base, statue base arches completed. Statue completed up to 59 metres or the shin

Sept 2017: RCC cores reach up to the height of the statue’s knees, or 90 metres

Dec 2017: Steel structural base affixed; bronze cladding begins

Feb 2018: RCC cores completed up to 151 metres, or near the statue’s chest

July 2018: RCC cores completed up to 157 metres, where there will be a viewing gallery

10:10 (IST) 31 Oct 2018
Statue can withstand earthquake measuring upto 6.5 Ritcher scale

Apart from the statue itself, there are five other related sites that are constructed along with the world’s tallest statue. These include the walkway, the ticket counter, the food court, the four-lane approach highway, and the ‘Shrestha Bharat Bhavan’- a 52-room three-star lodging facility for the visitors coming to see the monument.

A top Sardar Sarovar Narmada Nigam Ltd official informed The Indian Express that the statue can sustain wind velocity of 220 kilometres per hour and earthquakes measuring up to 6.5 on the Richter Scale.

Read more interesting facts

09:57 (IST) 31 Oct 2018
Special selfie points created at Statue of Unity

The statue will have a viewing gallery at a height of 153 m and can accommodate up to 200 visitors at a time. Facilities for the public ranges from Selfie Points created in a 5 km radius around the statue, to a museum at the statue’s base that has artefacts and documents from the life of Sardar Patel, including from his personal life. The museum also has an 8-foot prototype of the head of the Statue of Unity. For accommodation, 3-star hotel with food service, guest amenities, conference facilities is coming up. Two tent cities, comprising 50 and 200 tents, has also been set up on the banks of the Narmada.

09:52 (IST) 31 Oct 2018
World's tallest statue to open for public on November 1

The statue will be open to public from tomorrow. Tickets can be availed at http://www.soutickets.in, on location, and at Shrestha Bharat Bhavan complex nearby. Tickets (Rs 120 for adults, Rs 60 for kids) allow access to memorial, statue site, Sardar Sarovar Dam etc. Tickets to observation deck cost Rs 350. Bus ride costs Rs 30 or Re 1 (kids); free with observation deck tickets.

09:40 (IST) 31 Oct 2018
The making of Statue of Unity

The Rs 2,989 crore project took 42 months, and round-the-clock work by 4,076 labourers and 250 engineers to complete. They include around 800 locals and about 200 workers from China who worked in batches since September 2017.

They began with the feet in January 2016, moving on next to the dhoti, the knees and then the shawl flung over the statue’s shoulders, reaching all the way down. All these specifications, including showing Patel’s legs clad in a dhoti and his feet in sandals, mean the statue is thinner at the base than the top. This is unlike other tall statues, which have a wider base for stability. Besides this, the designers and engineers had to account for the wind factor, given the location and height of the Patel statue, and to factor in the possibility of earthquakes. An official says, “Many times, workers had to pause construction to allow the wind to calm down.”

Officials met this challenge by keeping the slenderness ratio between the top and bottom half of the Patel statue to 16:19 — significantly higher than the 8:14 ratio norm in tall buildings.

Once the statue opens, plans are afoot to have an amphibian bus that can run on both land and water from Kevadiya to the statue site, as well as for a jetty service from the dam site to the statue. SSNNL officials say bids have been invited for a ropeway cable car as another means to reach the statue. (Express photos) Read more

09:29 (IST) 31 Oct 2018
Miniature version of world's tallest statue - Statue of Unity!
09:26 (IST) 31 Oct 2018
How can visitors reach Statue of Unity?

09:22 (IST) 31 Oct 2018
Run for Unity in Delhi's smog

People in Delhi participate in the Run for Unity on Wednesday. Thousands of people participated in the run at the National Stadium. Patel's speeches boomed from the speakers as people participated in the campaign. (Express Photos by Tashi Tobgyal)

08:56 (IST) 31 Oct 2018
Interesting fact on the height of Statue of Unity

The Statue of Unity measures 182 metres in height. The height was picked as ‘182’ metre to match the total Assembly constituencies in Gujarat. The Statue of Unity beats China’s ‘Spring Temple Buddha’ as the world’s tallest statue.

08:40 (IST) 31 Oct 2018
How will tribals benefit from idol: Protesters opposing the Statue of Unity

Sixteen tribal activists and leaders were detained by police from various villages across Narmada district on Tuesday for “planning to hold protests” during the inauguration today.

“We are not against Sardar Patel, but we are against the BJP government in the state which has snatched the rights of tribals in Gujarat. Our demand is that government should implement Article 244 (1) of the Constitution, and then inaugurate the Statue of Unity,” Chhotu Vasava told reporters in Surat as he, accompanied by his son Mahesh Vasava and Congress MLAs from Vyara and Mandvi — Punaji Gamit and Anand Chaudhary —opposed the unveiling ceremony of the Rs 3,000-crore statue.

“We just want to ask how tribals could benefit from the Statue of Unity. The government should come out with clear picture. We have been protesting for long, as a result of which we are getting support from a large number of tribals across the state,” Chhotu Vasava added.

In neighbouring Tapi district, at least 10 tribal activists from Vyara tonsured their heads as a mark of support to the protest call ahead of the inauguration of the 182-metre-tall statue. Read more

08:32 (IST) 31 Oct 2018
Statue of Unity inauguration: Ahead of unveiling, final preparations underway
08:25 (IST) 31 Oct 2018
Local tribal leaders call for boycott of Modi's event, claim 'mass destruction' of resources due to statue

The statue's construction had received opposition from some tribal groups in Narmada district. Local tribal leaders have announced a boycott of today's event claiming "mass destruction" of natural resources due to the project. In an open letter addressed to Modi, sarpanches of 22 villages situated near the Sardar Sarovar dam on the Narmada river have said villagers will not welcome the prime minister when he arrives for the function. "We villagers want to tell you with extreme grief that we will not welcome you on October 31. Even if you come here like an unwanted guest, you are not welcome here," said the common letter signed by sarpanches of the villages of Narmada district, located around 200 km from Ahmedabad. The area still lacks basic facilities like schools, hospitals and drinking water, they alleged. (PTI)

08:22 (IST) 31 Oct 2018
India today paid tribute to man who built India: Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore on Sardar Patel

In his tribute to the Iron Man of India, Sports Minister Rajyavardhan Rathore said, " Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel's statue which is the tallest in the world should have been made years ago. India has today paid tribute to a man who built India."

08:21 (IST) 31 Oct 2018
Dipa Karmakar on Run for Unity
08:17 (IST) 31 Oct 2018
What is the Statue of Unity?

The statue is a tribute to the freedom fighter Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel. At 182 metres, it shows Patel wearing a traditional dhoti and shawl, towering over the Narmada River. The statue has been designed by Padma Bhushan-winning sculptor Ram V Sutar and has been built by Larsen and Toubro and the state-run Sardar Sarovar Narmada Nigam Ltd. It was first conceptualised when Narendra Modi was the Gujarat chief minister. The foundation stone for the project was laid in 2013. It took about 250 engineers and 3,400 labourers to construct the statue in 42 months. Iron was collected from all over the country for the statue of Sardar Patel, also known as the Iron Man of India. 77,000 tonnes Concrete was used and 5,700 tonnes Steel for was used to build the framework. 1,850 tonnes of Bronze sheets were also used

07:56 (IST) 31 Oct 2018
Rajnath Singh, Rajyavardhan Rathore flag off Run for Unity in Delhi

Meanwhile, Home Minister Rajnath Singh and Sports Minister Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore flagged off the "Run for Unity" in New Delhi. The campaign has been initiated for the country to run together in a tribute to Sardar Patel.

The statue stands on Sadhu island on the Narmada, 3.2 km downstream of Sardar Sarovar Dam. The statue stands on Sadhu island on the Narmada, 3.2 km downstream of Sardar Sarovar Dam.

The statue was conceptualised by Modi when he was Gujarat Chief Minister. Its foundation was laid in October 2013. Governors of Karnataka and Madhya Pradesh, Vajubhai Vala and Anandiben Patel, respectively, will be present at the event besides Gujarat Governor O P Kohli. BJP national president Amit Shah, who is also a Rajya Sabha MP from Gujarat, is expected to reach Vadodara late on Tuesday. Ministers and bureaucrats are already camping in Vadodara to prepare for Wednesday’s event.

The statue stands on Sadhu island on the Narmada, 3.2 km downstream of Sardar Sarovar Dam. According to Statue of Unity website, 200 km of the dam’s reservoir and the Satpura and Vindhya ranges can be seen from a viewing platform at the level of the statue’s chest. Statue can be seen from at least 20 km away. A ropeway spanning the breadth of the dam is planned.