Gujarat invites CM, Guv for 'Statue of Unity' unveiling

Gujarat invites CM, Guv for 'Statue of Unity' unveiling

Gujarat ministers who have fanned out across the country with invitations for the unveiling of the ‘Statue of Unity’ by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on October 31, were in Karnataka to invite the state’s Governor and Chief Minister for the grand event.

Gujarat Energy Minister Saurabh Patel told reporters in Bengaluru on Tuesday, that Governor Vajubhai Vala and Chief Minister H D Kumaraswamy were invited for the unveiling and both accepted the invitation.

“The Chief Minister spent 25 minutes with us yesterday. The response was very good. He said good words about Patel. He gave us time on such short notice. I am sure that he will visit Gujarat in the days to come,” added.

Attacks on migrant labourers 

Patel, who also extended an invitation to the people of Karnataka to visit the ‘world’s tallest statue’, was quick to dismiss the recent spate of attacks on non-Gujaratis, especially migrant labourers from Uttar Pradesh and Bihar-- as a “small issue”.

“Actually it was a political issue created by some. Today everything is under control. The development and progress of Gujarat in the last 40 to 50 years, is not only because of the people of Gujarat, but also because of people from different states who have made the state their home. We give equal credit to all people living in Gujarat.”

'They will return'

He however, admitted that the attacks had sparked an exodus. “Everyone knows who instigated the violence. Because of one person’s instigation, thousands of people left Gujarat. Today, we are are here for unity, and that is what we will ensure. We are positive that those who left Gujarat, will come back. A very small percentage of population went back to Uttar Pradesh. The Chief Minister (Vijay Rupani) was in Uttar Pradesh to invite them back. It is a small political issue. Everything is under control. Anyone who has left the state, will positively come back after the Dasara holidays are over,” he added.

State Bhavans

Patel also said that so far, only two or three state governments had accepted Gujarat’s invitation to build ‘State Bhavan’ at Ek Bharat Shreshtha Bharat Complex near the Statue of Unity.

“All state governments were invited to build their Bhavans. Uttar Pradesh and a couple of other states have accepted the invitation. I’m sure most governments will accept the invitation, as it will be beneficial to the people of those states,” he added.

Patel however, did not divulge information about the entry fee to the statue, and also the revenue to be generated through this tourism project. “There will be an entry fee to maintain time and discipline. But the rates are yet to be decided. We are not looking at the revenue angle. We are only focusing on the message that we will be giving to future generations through this project,” he added.

Patel said that the statue was being built to pay tribute to India’s first Home minister and deputy prime minister Sardar Vallabhai Patel who strived to ensure the country stayed united.

Statue features

The statue complex will house an exhibition hall and memorial garden at the base of the statue.

A bridge connecting Sadhu Island to the mainland, memorial and visitor centre are also built.

Visitors will be taken to a viewing gallery at the height of 153 mt inside the statue (at the chest level) by speed elevators.

From there they will be able to see the Sarovar dam and the mountain ranges of Vindhyachal and Satpura.

Another attraction is a 17 km long flower valley. More than 15,000 visitors are expected to visit the statue everyday.

 Through the Loha Campaign started in 2013, iron tools were received from around 1,700,00 locations in 28 states

 Entry fee yet to be decided. Token/nominal amount to be charged


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