The work order for Prime Minister Narendra Modi's pet project 'Statue of Unity' - the world's tallest statue of India's first home minister Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel, was issued by the Gujarat government on Monday, to leading engineering company Larsen and Toubro (L&T).
Work on the 182-metre tall statue of Sardar Patel is to be completed at a cost of Rs 2,979 crore (Rs 29.79 billion), said Gujarat Chief Minister Anandi Patel who presided over the function of handing over the work order.
"This huge construction work will be completed in four years at a cost of Rs 2,979 crore. The contract has been given to the country's leading construction company Larsen and Toubro," Patel said in her address, while giving the contract order to L&T.
"Rs 1,347 crore will be spent on the main statue, Rs 235 crore (Rs 2.35 billion) will be spent on the exhibition hall and convention centre, while Rs 83 crore (Rs 830 million) will be spent on the bridge connecting the memorail to the main land and Rs 657 crore (Rs 6.57 billion) would be spent to maintain the structure until 15 years after it is completed," Patel said.
The 182-metre-tall 'Statue of Unity', which would be double the size of New York's 'Statue of Liberty' (93 metres), would inspire future generations, Patel said.
"The project will include an exhibition hall and audio-visual presentation on the life of Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel, which will become the centre of attraction for tourists from the all over the world," she said.
Patel also said that 75,000 cubic metres of concrete, 5,700 metric tonne of steel structure, 18,500 steel rods and 22,500 metric tonne of bronze will be used for the project.
Patel claimed that the 'Statue of Unity' project will generate employment in the tribal area of Narmada district as well as boost the tourism sector.
The 'Statue of Unity' will be built at Sadhu Island approximately 3.5 km south of Sardar Sarovar Dam at Kevadia area in Narmada district of the state of Gujarat.
The project was launched by the former Gujarat Chief Minister and Prime Minister Narendra Modi on October 31, 2013, on Sardar Patel's birth anniversary.
Modi had also launched a country wide campaign to collect iron to build the 'Statue Of Unity' and the Gujarat government has claimed that iron was collected from around seven lakh villages across the nation.
The Gujarat state government had invited expression of interest from all over the world for the project.
After completion of the tender process, L&T has been given the contract of to execute the 'Statue Of Unity' project.
Leading construction company Turner Construction, which built Dubai's famous architectural structure 'Burj Khalifa', is a consultant to the project.