The villagers claim that there has been widespread destruction to the environment due to the memorial and that the government has done little to rehabilitate those who have been displaced by the Sardar Sarovar Dam and statue projects. "31st of October also is the death anniversary of our former Prime Minister Indira Gandhi".
An outsized creation of Sardar Vallabhai Patel, the Iron Man of India, almost 600 ft tall over the Narmada river will be unveiled by Prime Minister Narendra Modi tomorrow, marking the start of his re-election campaign for 2019 elections.
Patel was known as the "Iron Man of India" for integrating various states in the post-independence era. It is twice the height of the Statue of Liberty in the US. With the Statue of Unity, you (tribals and farmers) have enshrined your names in history too: PM Modi.
The Statue of Unity website, which has given the structure the tagline, "the statue as grand as the stature", says: "Built in less than five years, it is the world's tallest, grandest and giant statue". It was designed by Padma Bhushan winning sculptor Ram V Sutar.
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"We bow to the great Sardar Patel, the stalwart who unified India and served the nation tirelessly, on his Jayanti", said Modi in a tweet.
It was dream of Prime Minister Narendra Modi since the time he was the Chief Minister of Gujarat.
At 182 metres, the "Statue of Unity", facing the Sardar Sarovar Dam, is almost double the height of the Statue of Liberty in NY and taller than the Spring Temple of Buddha in China, which had held the record at 153 metres. Congress president Rahul Gandhi has also criticised the government over the fact that some parts of the statue were made in China.
Online booking to visit the Statue of Unity has opened with a 350 rupee ($4.75) admission fee for the 153-meter-high observation deck.
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A viewing gallery at a height of 135 metres has been created inside the statue to enable tourists to have a view of the dam and nearby mountain ranges.
The monument will have a museum with 40,000 documents, 2,000 photographs and a research centre dedicated to Patel's life and work.
Authorities hope the statue will attract 15,000 visitors a day to the remote corner of Gujarat, which is about 60 miles (100km) from the nearest big city, Vadodara.
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