The Statue of Unity was unveiled today by Prime Minister Narendra Modi as a tribute to the Iron Man of India – Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel, on his 143rd birth anniversary.
The Statue of Unity is now the tallest statue in the world with a height of 182 m (600 feet). It has eclipsed China’s Spring Temple Buddha statue (153 m) and the Statue of Liberty in the United States (93 m).
The statue is facing opposition from the local tribal organisations as nearly 75,000 people are affected due to the dam and the statue. They have neither been compensated nor their rehabilitation has allegedly been complete.
The statue is made at a whopping cost of Rs. 2,989 Crores and it has drawn severe flak because the basic needs of the people aren’t yet met and the government is spending lavishly on statues.
According to an IndiaSpend report, here is what else could have been done with Rs. 2,989 Crores :
1.Two new IIT campuses (considering one IIT campus costs Rs 1,167 crore).
2.Two AIIMS campuses (considering one AIIMS cost Rs 1,103 crore).
3.Five new permanent IIM campuses (considering one IIM campus costs Rs 539 crore).
4. Five new solar power plants, each producing 75 megawatts of power (considering one power plant costs Rs 528 crore).
5. Six Mars missions (considering one mission costs Rs 450 crore) and three Chandrayaan-2 (Moon) missions (considering one mission costs Rs 800 crore) by the Indian Space Research Organisation.
The Modi government is facing severe criticism as the opposition has called this a “publicity gimmick” as 5 states – Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Telangana, Chhattisgarh and Mizoram are up from elections. Also, the General elections are a few months away.