The Race To Build Statues
There is a race in the country to build statues. After the 182-metres (597 feet) tall ‘Statue of Unity’ of Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel, Gujarat is set to have another gigantic Buddha statue.
A Buddhist organisation, Sanghakaya Foundation want to construct a 24-metres (80 feet) high Buddha statue in Gujarat’s Gandhinagar. The organisation demanded the land from the Gujarat government.The sculpture, Ram Sutar, who designed the Statue of Unity is associated with this project.
Maharashtra Government’s project, the Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Memorial in Arabian sea will start soon. The state Government has said the statue is to be built at a cost of Rs 3800 crores and it would be ready by 2021. The height of the statue is said to be 212-metres (695 feet). The Chhatrapati Shivaji statue would be called Shiv Smarak or Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Memorial once it is complete.
Also, the Dr BR Ambedkar memorial at Indu Mills in Dadar will be ready in three years, said the state government. The cost of the memorial is Rs 709 crores. The memorial is about 107-metres (350 feet) in height.
Key Points: During 2004 Assembly elections Congress-NCP had promised to build the Shivaji Statue. However, various reasons such as proper location, environmental clearance and fishermen’s agitation let the project only on papers. In 2014 Shivaji statue in the Arabian sea and Ambedkar memorial at Indu Mills were the two key points in BJP’s election campaign.
States like Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh have also proposed to build statues one after another. After the inauguration of ‘Statue of Unity’ Karnataka government proposes to build a 38-metres (125 feet) statue of Mother Cauvery. The project will cover the area of around 400 acers and the cost is around Rs 1200 crores. It is likely to start within the next couple of months.
Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu seems in competition with the Gujarat Government directly. He proposed the Andhra Pradesh Assembly building of 250-metres to be build in Amaravati. It is 68 metres taller than ‘the Statue of Unity.’ The design is almost finalised, designed by Foster & Partners in the United Kingdom. The government will call for a tender by end of November for the construction of the building.
Yogi Adityanath, Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh on November 25 cleared a 221-metre tall Ram statue in Ayodhya. The actual height of the statue will 151 metres, its overhead umbrella would be 20 metres and the pedestal would be 50 metres. It would be taller than the world’s tallest statue ‘Statue of Unity.’ However, the cost and the location are not yet disclosed by the UP government.
The race is on and it would be interesting to see if any other state in India will join “THE RACE TO BUILD STATUES.”
(The writer is a journalism student based in Mumbai and a die hard fan of Mahendra Singh Dhoni)
( The views expressed are the author’s own.The POST neither endorses nor is responsible for them.)