Why Rs 200 crore for Patel statue?

Statue of Unity, projected as the world’s tallest structure, has no environment clearance and will displace tribals

By Soma Basu
Last Updated: Saturday 04 July 2015


Prime Minister Narendra Modi received flak last year when he, as the chief minister of Gujarat, decided to construct the world’s largest statue in his state. A year later, his new finance minister announced Rs 200 crore for the project that is yet to receive environmental clearances.

The 182-metre-high iron and bronze statue of India’s first deputy prime minister, Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel, once constructed, will be double the height of the Statue of Liberty in the USA and five times taller than Brazilian attraction, Christ the Redeemer in Rio de Janeiro. The foundation stone of the Rs 2,063-crore Statue of Unity project, which will comprise a memorial park and a water body as well, was laid by Modi and senior BJP leader L K Advani on October 31 last year. The project near the Sardar Sarovar Dam on the Narmada is expected to be completed in four years. 

“That government of Gujarat has embarked upon the mission to build the largest statue of Sardar Vallabh Bhai Patel. Sardar Patel stands as a symbol of unity of the country. A sum of Rs 200 crores is being set aside to support the Gujarat Government in this initiative,” said Jaitley during his budget speech. 

Mahesh Pandya, convenor of Ahmedabad-based nonprofit Paryavaran Mitra, questions the logic of the Centre pumping money in a project with no government clearances. “Why has this wasteful expenditure been made? The project will displace tribals and as a result might not get clearance from the Supreme Court. What will happen to the Rs 200 crore then?” asks Pandya.

Pandya also says that when the project was proposed, it was said that the statue would be built by a trust which would collect donation from each and every individual of Gujarat.

“We are sure that Sardar Patel would have never approved of such a wasteful expenditure. You do not need a statue to highlight either the greatness of an individual or to establish national unity. This must be reconsidered and dropped,” says he.

Interestingly, the government allocated the same Rs 200 crore for the setting up of eight textile mega clusters at Varanasi, Bareily, Lucknow, Surat, Kuttch, Bhagalpur, Mysore and Tamil Nadu.


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  • What is the problem in

    What is the problem in allocating INR 200Cr for Patel Statue? when our people go to US, Brasil & France and taking the pics with statue then its ok but similar kind of statue being proposed in India, people makes hue and cry.
    Which Environmental Clearance are environmentalist talking? the system through which high profile people makes the money?

    Have a little pride in some good initiative for the sake of country. As far as money as money is concerned, it just a piece of paper which can be printed proportional to work done in a country. Important thing is that how to create job and make the system running.
    So lets not become obstacle for national treasure project.

    Posted by: Anonymous | 6 years ago | Reply
  • Dear Mr Singh, Thank you for

    Dear Mr Singh,
    Thank you for your comment. I appreciate your concern about clicking photographs with statues. Are you suggesting that it ok to submerge more than 20 tribal villages and uproot people who have been living there for centuries so that we get a monument with which we can click pictures? Are you suggesting that it is ok to chop thousand of trees for the sake of ÔÇ£pride in some good initiative for the sake of countryÔÇØ? What is national treasure; happy and prosperous villages with no food scarcity or water scarcity or a grand statue?
    India has no dearth of historically significant landmarks. Personally, I think, a selfie at India Gate or at Gandhi Ashram or historical Lakhpat Gurudwara and fort (which the government hardly pays attention to) would attract much more Facebook likes from people than posing with a statue that uprooted thousands of people and took away their means of sustenance.
    I understand your aversion to environment clearance system. But as wise men have said something is better than nothing, some regulation is always better than no regulation at all.
    People have time and again questioned the efficacy of environment clearances. But, you say, it is ÔÇ£the system through which high profile people makes the moneyÔÇØ. Could you provide me some more information on this? If you are saying this with so much surety, you must also have evidence. Please feel free to contact me and perhaps we can write another article on this.
    Soma Basu


    Posted by: Soma Basu | 4 years ago | Reply