Prime Minister Narendra Modi will unveil the ‘Statue of Unity’, a 182-metre giant structure built in honour of Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel, near the Sardar Sarovar Dam in Gujarat’s Narmada district on Wednesday.
Touted as the world's tallest, the statue is twice the height of Statue of Liberty and is built on an islet, Sadhu Bet. As soon as Modi unveils the statue, three IAF planes would fly past and create the tricolour in the sky by emitting saffron, white and green colours, said an official release on Tuesday.
Here are some interesting facts about Statue of Unity:
# Tourists can see the dam and nearby mountain ranges from a gallery created at the height of 135 metres inside the statue. The gallery can accommodate 200 visitors at one go
# The statue has been built using over 70,000 tonnes of cement, 18,500 tonnes of reinforcement steel, 6,000 tonnes of structural steel and 1,700 metric tonnes of bronze, which was used for the outer cladding of the structure, according to the government statement.
# According to reports, the Statue of Unity was built in a record 33 months. Designed by the Ram V Sutar, a sculptor from Noida, the statue is built by Larsen & Toubro.
# Cost of constructing the Statue of Unity is estimated at Rs. 2,989 crores.
# The Shrestha Bharat Bhavan adjacent to the Statue of Unity is designed to be a 128-key, 3-star hotel facility with food service, guest amenities, and conference facilities.
Meanwhile, local tribal leaders have announced a boycott of Wednesday'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.
(With PTI inputs)