Guj govt: Contractor's call on sourcing materials for statue
The Gujarat government has stated that it would have no control over the sourcing of materials by the contractor who is to build the Statue of Unity at Sadhu Bet, Narmada district, Gujarat. The clarification came after it emerged that brass parts for the statue would come from a factory in China. Opposition parties said the project defeated the purpose of "Make in India."
The then Gujarat CM and BJP's PM candidate Modi had laid the foundation stone of the Sardar Patel statue in Kevadia in Oct'13. It was estimated to cost around Rs.2500 crore. Modi said that people from all over the world will come to see the statue like other monuments in the world. The work of the statue was set to be completed in four-years.
The Sardar Patel statue/Statue of Unity was planned to be a 182 meter tall structure, which is double the height of the Statue of Liberty in US and five times the height of the statue of Christ the Redeemer in Rio De Janeiro.
Narendra Modi flagged off almost 1,000 trucks which would collect iron tools from 7 lakh villages in India. The iron tools would be used in the building of Statue of Unity project. Modi said that the tools would be the farmers' contribution to the statue of the Iron Man of India. He said that farmers had an emotional attachment with Sardar Patel.
The then Gujarat CM Anandiben Patel had awarded the contract of Rs.2989 crore to construct the Statue of Unity to Larsen & Tourbo (L&T). The statue was being built near Narmada dam, Gujarat. Patel said that the statue would bring an investment of Rs.6000 crore in the region around the statue. She added it was a perfect tribute to Sardar who unified the nation.
A 10 member society had filed a petition before National Green Tribune (NGT). The petition challenged the Gujarat government's decision of constructing a statue of Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel on environmental grounds. The petitioners alleged that the due environmental clearances for the project were not obtained. They said that after the completion of the project, the human activity will deeply affect the Narmada river.
Residents of Patel's ancestral town Karamsad strongly felt that the statue failed to reflect the powerful aura that India's Iron Man had. An 18ft replica of Statue of Unity was exhibited at Karamsad in December last year. The residents complained that changes suggested by them were not incorporated in another 30ft replica of the statue inaugurated by the then Gujarat CM Anandiben in Bardoli.
Going against Central government's 'Make in India' campaign, Sardar Patel's statue was smelt and cast in China's Nanchang province. L&T had sub-contracted the work of the statue to the world's largest foundry in China- the Jiangxi Toqine Metal Handicrafts Co Ltd. Congress slammed the PM saying Sardar Patel wouldn't have liked this 'Make in India' definition of Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
There were reports that the work for Sardar statue had been subcontracted to a Chinese company. L&T, the contractors of the project clarified that the statue is being built in India and the company is sourcing only bronze plates from China. The plates would be put together and erected on the core of reinforced concrete and structural steel after assembly and welding.