World's tallest statue unveiled in India

India prepares to inaugurate the world's tallest statue

The statue is more than twice the size of New York's Statue of Liberty and also dwarfs the 128-meter (400-feet) high Spring Temple Buddha in China, the world's next-biggest statue. "The statue will remain a source of inspiration for generations to come", his grandnephew Dhirubhai Patel, who lives in Gujarat's Vadodara, said. As many as 3,400 workers and 250 engineers worked round-the-clock for 42 months to make the dream project of PM Modi a reality. "To build the Statue of Unity, lakhs of farmers from all over India came together, gave their tools, portions of soil and thus, a mass movement started".

At a special function held at the capital's Patel Chowk, the President and others paid floral tributes at the statue of India's first Home Minister on his 143rd birthday anniversary, which is observed as "Rashtriya Ekta Divas". "The country, which is moving towards becoming the world's greatest economic and strategic power, is following the path shown by Sardar Patel", Modi said. "No Indian will ever forget this day", the Prime Minister said in his speech. The ticket includes entry to the Statue, Valley of Flowers (the garden area), the memorial, museum, an audio-visual gallery and the Sardar Sarovar Dam. After he became prime minister in 2014, he pledged to complete it despite some critics balking at the almost $403 million price tag, which they said could be better spent on welfare programs for India's poor.

He described the Statue of Unity as a symbol of the country's engineering and technical capabilities. An approximate of 70 thousand tons of cement in addition to 18,500 tons of reinforcement steel and 6000 tons of structural steel has been used to build the statue.

What is the height of the Statue of Unity?

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The Prime Minister began the Mann ki Baat address with tribute to Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel.

-It can withstand wind speed of upto 200 kmph, and earthquakes measuring 6.5 on Richter Scale at a depth of 10 km and within a radius of 12 km of the Statue.

It is hoped it will attract 15,000 visitors a day at a cost of $4.75 (€4.18), or 350 rupees, and tourists can view it from the 153-metre high observation deck which reaches the statue's chest. The state government allocated funds for the project, estimated to cost over $410 million, although monetary support was also provided by the federal government and public donations were requested by the committee overseeing the construction.

Posters of Modi with Gujarat chief minister Vijay Rupani were torn down or had their faces blackened at the weekend.

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