Subject to a number of criticism by the locals, the Statue of Liberty has however remained a monumental structure, one that has attracted thousands of visitors from all over the world. With officials claiming that to have close to 30,000 visitors in a day, the structure will surely generate huge sums of money for the government through tourism.
Standing at about 600 feet into the sky and weighing over 2,000 tons, the statue of unity is the tallest statue in the whole world (taking the title from the Spring Temple Buddha in Lushan, China) and a tribute to Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel, an Indian independence leader who was crucial in uniting a fractured country. The statue is built in three layer structures: RCC (Reinforced Cement Concrete) being the inner layer, Steel structure is the second layer, while the last layer of bronze cladding of 8mm.
The monument which took eight years to design and four years to build was inaugurated on the 31st of October, 2018 by Prime Minister Narendra Modi. The Guardian however, reported that 5,000 police shadowed massive crowds having feared that protesters might be willing to disrupt the inauguration as there were claims that Modi had received letters from a number of chiefs warning him to stay away from the inauguration.
Patel was India’s first interior minister and deputy prime minister. He earned the title the “Iron Man of India” after uniting feuding states and principalities to form the greater Indian state after shedding the yoke of colonial Britain.
During the four years of construction of the bronze statue, there were divisions among the citizens as some hailed the project as a means of remembering the Nation’s hero, while others saw it has a waste of money and a white elephant.
“This memorial to Sardar is going to become a worldwide tourist attraction,” Modi boasted in a promotional video in Hindi about the statue. “See our height, measure this nation’s height. This is what we want.”
However, majority of the tribals in Gujarat’s eastern belt have had to deal with the consequences of having such a gigantic structure in there locality. The statue has affected as many as 75000 people spread across at least 72 villages. As many as 13 villages with an approximate population of 20,000 are believed to have been directly affected by the land acquisition for the statue’s project. This includes a number of tourist facilities around the structure, a 53-room hotel plots of land taken away for road widening.
However, controversial or not, the statue of unity has been dubbed by many as a positive project and it continues to attract thousands of visitors from around the world.
But it is believed that the statue of unity, will not remain the tallest statue in the world for long as India is planning to open the Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Memorial in 2021 on a 15-acre plot in the Arabian Sea, reaching 695 feet into the sky. Its purpose is to honor the founder of the Maratha Kingdom, a warrior king who died in 1680.