Gujarat invites Karnataka Governor, CM to Statute of Unity unveiling

Bengaluru: The Gujarat government has invited Karnataka Governor Vajubhai Vala and Chief Minister H.D. Kumaraswamy to attend the unveiling of Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel’s Statute of Unity at Sadhu Bet in the northwest state on October 31, an official said on Wednesday.

“Gujarat Energy Minister Saurabhbhai Patel called on the Governor and the Chef Minister and invited both of them to attend the inauguration of the 546- ft (182-metre) tall statue on an island in the Narmada river,” an official told IANS.

Located in the mountain range of Satpura and Vindhyanchal, about 100km from Vadodara, the world’s tallest statue will be inaugurated by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, marking the 143rd birth anniversary of Sardar Patel (1875-1950).

“As Vala hails from Gujarat, Patel expressed confidence that he (Governor) would represent the southern state at the grand event and witness its unveiling,” said the official.

Dedicated to the ‘Iron Man of India’ and built at a cost of Rs 3,000 crore, the bronze statue is situated around 4km away from the Sardar Sarovar Dam across the river.

Mounted on a flattened hillock, the mighty statue can be viewed from far away, while about 200 visitors can climb to a viewers’ gallery on twin elevators facing it at a time for a grand view of the picturesque area around it.

“A museum has been built at the base of the statue to showcase Patel’s 75-years of life and works through a 15-minute audio-visual documentary, 2,000 photographs and about 40,000 documents,” noted the official.

The statue complex also has a memorial garden in the island, which is connected to the mainland through a bridge.

“We expect about 15,000-20,000 people to visit the statue daily as it will be a major tourist attraction,” said the minister on the occasion.

As India’s first Home Minister, Sardar Patel was instrumental in ensuing the merger of 585 princely states and kingdoms across the country after Independence.

“Patel had also freed six northern districts of the state in the erstwhile Hyderabad region from the Nizam kingdom in September 1948 without bloodshed and got them merged with the Union of India,” recalled the official./Eom/370 words.