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Watch: Puddles, dripping ceiling at viewing gallery of Gujarat’s Statue of Unity

The Statue of Unity was inaugurated by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in October 2018. The Rs 2,989 crore project took 42 months, and round-the-clock work by 3,400 labourers and 250 engineers to complete.

Watch: Puddles, dripping ceiling at viewing gallery of Gujarat's Statue of Unity The State of Unity, dedicated to Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel, is the world’s tallest statue at 182 metres. (Screengrab)

At 153 metres, the viewing gallery at the Statue of Unity in Gujarat’s Narmada district provides no relief from the pouring rain. As the southwest monsoon intensified across the state Saturday, a video emerged of visitors carefully wading through puddles of water while rainwater leaked from cracks in the ceiling. The State of Unity, dedicated to Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel, is the world’s tallest statue at 182 metres.

The viewing gallery, which can accommodate up to 200 visitors at a time, has been designed in a way to ensure that the public gets a grand view of the Narmada.

The statue is experiencing its first monsoon since its inauguration in October last year and therefore videos of water dripping from the ceiling in the gallery went viral in no time on Saturday morning as the rains intensified overnight.

Watch video: Puddles, dripping ceiling at Gujarat’s State of Unity

However, officials of the statue stated that the accumulation of water on the floor of the viewing gallery could not be termed as ‘leakage’.

IK Patel, CEO of Statue of Unity, told The Indian Express that the gallery had puddles of water as it was open.

“The entire purpose of keeping the viewing gallery open is to allow the people to enjoy the scenic beauty of the place in its natural form. There is a glass enclosure at the back and there is no water collected there. However, the front of the gallery at the chest is open as per the design and it is natural that the rain will come into the standing area. There is no leakage in this part as the water dripping from the ceiling is also just a trail of the same rainwater,” he said.

Patel, however, agreed that the exhibition hall at the base has reported leakage from several parts of the ceiling on Saturday morning.

“We have asked L&T to take corrective action immediately in the exhibition hall. There is no leakage anywhere else,” Patel said, adding that the facade was not meant to be sealed.

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“The facade panels are meant to have some gap and not be sealed. It is not due to this that the water is seeping in,” he said.

In 2014, the Gujarat government handed out a contract to a multi-firm consortium to execute the construction. While L&T is the executing firm, the consortium includes Michael Graves Architecture & Design (MGA&D) and Turner Construction, which previously developed the Burj Khalifa, the tallest building in the world.

The construction of the actual statue began with the feet after the completion of the raft foundation, using the “jump form” construction assembly with built-in hydraulic lifting jacks that move the structure upwards.

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The concrete cores A and B, which house the elevators and the staircase, form the centre of the entire statue, including the feet, and end at the height of the viewing gallery. The entire statue has a steel framework affixed and then cladded with the bronze plates.

The Statue of Unity was inaugurated by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in October 2018. The Rs 2,989 crore project took 42 months, and round-the-clock work by 3,400 labourers and 250 engineers to complete. The foundation stone of the statue was laid in October 2013 by Modi, who was the chief minister of Gujarat at that time. The Statue of Unity beats China’s ‘Spring Temple Buddha’ as the world’s tallest statue.

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(With inputs from ENS)

First published on: 29-06-2019 at 01:35:23 pm
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