The Statue of Unity is a colossal statue of Indian statesman and independence activist Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel, who was the first Deputy Prime Minister and Home Minister of independent India. He was the chief follower of Mahatma Gandhi during the non-violent Indian Independence movement.
The construction of this monument was completed in mid-October 2018 and was inaugurated on October 31 2018. The total value of the project was calculated to be about ₹2,063 crores (equivalent to ₹25 billion or US$360 million in 2018) by the government.
One of the monuments which attracted not positive comments from the start but a pessimistic approach from the opposition as well as people concerning the cost spend on the same. Amidst economic crises, poverty status, rising hunger rate and many other issues prevailing in India building such a statue which involved a humongous amount only welcomed questioning from people.
Is it worth spending Rs 2,063 crore on the Statue of Unity?
While most of the people saw the negative side of building a monument; there was yet another section of society which supported. They questioned people as to why they don’t you see that ₹2000 crore spent now will bring ten times more money in future?
Supporting their statement, they explained that with a height of 182 metres, it has become the tallest statue in the world, and would surely attract visitors across the globe. It is located near the Sardar Sarovar Dam on the river Narmada in Kevadiya colony in Gujarat. Moreover, they believed that not only it would improve the tourism industry of that state, but will result in better infrastructure, Jobs, Road, Rail and Air connectivity.
They further added that money generated from Entry ticket, Parking ticket, Bus ticket and many more source would result in bringing revenue that will boost our economic growth.
A year after building the Statue of Unity, we can see that it has surpassed the footfall of the 133-year-old Statue of Liberty in the US, with an average of over 15,000 tourists touring the monument on Gujarat daily. On weekend days the footfall is estimated to be around 22,000; While Statue Of Liberty attracts about 10,000 visitors a day–a statement by Sardar Sarovar Narmada Nigam Ltd.
Designed by Indian sculptor Ram V Sutar, the project was first announced back in 2010, and was finally unveiled by Prime Minister Narendra Modi last year. Sardar Sarovar Narmada Nigam Ltd stated that rise in footfall was after the addition of several tourist attractions such as jungle safari, children’s nutrition park, cactus garden, butterfly garden, Ekta nursery, and many more alongside multiple budget accommodation options.
If we go by the records, it is said that a total of 30,90,723 tourists have visited Kevadia till November 30 this year, generating a cumulative income of Rs 85.57 crore.
Within a year of the unveiling, if the statue could generate such a massive amount of income, we can now believe that it was not a waste to spend so much on a monument.