The statue of unity is mak­ing progress

The Statue of Unity, ded­i­cated to the mem­ory of Sar­dar Pa­tel, is mak­ing progress

Governance Now - - CONTENTS - Ishita Mishra

Kashinath Thakur, who has just re­turned to work af­ter a month-long va­ca­tion, was busy tight­en­ing screws on a huge steel plate which will be placed on the waist of the statue of Sar­dar Val­lab­hb­hai Pa­tel. The ‘Statue of Unity’, un­der con­struc­tion at Ke­va­dia in Gu­jarat – near the site of the Sar­dar Sarovar dam on the river nar­mada, will be the tallest statue in the world. its height, me­tres, will be dou­ble that of the Statue of Lib­erty in the US and five times that of the statue of Christ the Redeemer in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. The project to build this statue is a brain­child of prime min­is­ter naren­dra modi.

What does he knows about Sar­dar Pa­tel? Kashinath, a 40-year-old from deo­ria district of ut­tar Pradesh, re­sponded: “Bade aadmi the. [He was a great man.]” His col­league, Shri­ram Singh from di­grauli of up, in­ter­rupted him. “He was the iron man. He united the en­tire na­tion. He dreamed of the Sar­dar Sarovar dam,” says Shri­ram who then looks around for ap­pre­ci­a­tion from se­nior architects and engi­neers who are busy mak­ing prepa­ra­tions ahead of the prime min­is­ter’s visit, on Septem­ber 17.

Both the work­ers are em­ployed with malaysia-based ev­ersendai which has been given the con­tract for the steel frame­work. This com­pany has ear­lier worked in projects like dubai’s fa­mous high rise like Burj al-arab and Burj Khal­ifa.

“it’s only the Pm who has de­cided to make the name of Sar­dar Patelji so big that the en­tire world should re­mem­ber this. The Statue of unity is the vi­sion of our Pm. We are on our toes to com­plete the statue be­fore the dead­line of oc­to­ber 2018 so that it can be in­au­gu­rated on Pa­tel’s birth an­niver­sary [oc­to­ber 31],” says RG Ka­nungo, su­per­in­tend­ing en­gi­neer of Sar­dar Sarovar Nar­mada Nigam Ltd (SSNNL), which is the ex­e­cut­ing agency for the state gov­ern­ment.

Some 3,000 work­ers have been at work day and night in shifts since oc­to­ber 2013. The struc­ture has reached just above the knees and now the engi­neers are busy shap­ing the kurta. Peo­ple from TQ art Foundry of Jiangxi Tongqing com­pany in nan­chang, china, too will soon ar­rive to as­sist Ssnnl in as­sem­bling the bronze cladding of the frontage.

“The frame­work is a mix­ture of con­crete and steel. For the cladding, TQ art Foundry has de­signed 5,000 bronze pan­els un­der the su­per­vi­sion of artist Ram Suthar, which will be placed over the steel and con­crete. Thou­sands of high-qual­ity pro­to­types of pre­cast bronze frontages will be shipped in from China which we will later as­sem­ble over the steel plate at the fi­nal stage of the statue,” says Ka­nungo. He adds that from China, not just bronze but around 100 work­ers too will ar­rive to work on the statue at the last phase.

claim­ing the statue to be com­pletely earth­quake-proof, the Ssnnl en­gi­neer claims it can­not be af­fected by any nat­u­ral calamity, be is caused by air, wa­ter or grav­i­ta­tional force. “We have dug out more rock from the hill then the ma­te­rial we are us­ing to build the statue. all tests have been done be­fore choos­ing the site to en­sure the safety. it will be a land­mark in in­dia af­ter it is com­pleted,” he adds. it prom­ises to be a tourist at­trac­tion – along with the nar­mada dam nearby.

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