The world’s tallest statue is more than twice the Statue of Liberty, in comparison.

The likes of Pelé, Maradona, Beckenbauer, and a few legends of football are considered the great players of all time — and also considering current stars like Messi and Ronaldo, too. That’s sports. Statues like the Statue of Liberty and the Christ the Redeemer could be also tagged as great statues of all time. Until November 2018, that fact was soon about to be changed for good. Unlike the footballers, these statues now have a huge contender for the great statue in the world. India’s new ‘Statue of Unity’ is that huge contender.

The World’s Tallest Statue

India unveiled it’s new Statue of Unity on October 31, 2018. It stands at a whopping height of 182 meters (597 feet) — that’s twice the Statue of Liberty — excluding it’s 58-meter (193 feet) tall pedestal. It is located on a river island facing the Sardar Sarovar Dam on river Narmada in the Kevadiya colony, some 100 kilometres (62 miles) southeast of the city of Vadodara, Gujarat, India.

Image: NDTV

The Statue of Unity is a colossal statue of an Indian statesman and independence activist. This was Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel (1875 – 1950), who was India’s first Home minister and chief adherent of Mahatma Gandhi during the non-violent Indian Independence Movement. He was highly respected for his leadership in uniting all the 562 states of India to form the single large Union of India.

The project was first announced in 2010, and the construction of the statue commenced in October 2013 by Larsen & Toubro, who signed the contract for ₹2,989 crore (US$420 million). It was designed by Indian sculptor Ram V. Sutar, and was inaugurated by the Prime Minister of India, Narendra Modi, on the 143rd anniversary of Patel’s birth — October 31. That’s one colossal trick for a treat.

In effort to help construct it, an outreach drive named the ‘Statue of Unity Movement’ was launched to support the construction of the statue. It assisted in collecting the iron needed from farmers who donated their used farming instruments. In total, 135 metric tonnes of scrap iron were collected, and about 109 tonnes of it was used for the foundation of the statue. (Now that’s how to really pay taxes).

The ‘Goliath’ Of All Statues

The designing, funding, and construction of the Statue of Unity was one heck of a mega task. Here’s how it took place:

Design: After examining Patel’s statues across the country, a team of historians, artists, and academic professors chose a design of Ram V. Sutar. The Statue of Unity is a replica of a statue at Ahmedabad International Airport. Three models of the design were initially created. Once the design of the largest model was approved, a detailed three-dimensional (3D) scan was produced in a foundry in China (where else).

Funding: The statue was built by Public Private Partnership model — with most of the money raised by the Government of Gujarat by allocating ₹6 billion (US$83 million) for the project in the budget between 2012 and 2015. In the 2014/2015 Union Budget, ₹2 billion (US$28 million) were allocated for the construction. Additional funds were also contributed by Public Sector Undertakings under Corporate Social Responsibility schemes.

Image: Shutterstock / iStock / Getty Images Plus

Construction: Works began on October 31, 2014 (Patel’s birthday). Larsen & Toubro employed 250 engineers and over 3,000 workers. The core of the statue utilized 210,000 cubic meters (7,400,000 cubic feet) of cement concrete, 6500 tonnes of structural steel, and 18500 tonnes of reinforced steel. It took 56 months to complete — 15 months for planning, 40 months for construction, and two months for handing over by the consortium.

That’s A Mammoth Indeed

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Written by: Nana Kwadwo, Fri, Jan 18, 2019.


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