With rose petals and guns, India inaugurates world’s tallest statue

India prepares to inaugurate the world's tallest statue

World's Tallest Statue Is Quite Staggering – Double The Size Of The Statue Of Liberty [Images]

As Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurated the world's tallest statue to celebrate Vallabhbhai Patel, Opposition parties on Wednesday questioned the BJP as to why there was no bigger statue for Mahatma Gandhi and also accused the ruling party of trying to "hijack" the legacy of Independence heroes like Sardar Patel.

India's "Statue of Unity", unveiled earlier today, is now the tallest statue in the world overtaking China's Spring Temple Buddha.

Indian officials were concerned that community groups could stage protests to demand compensation for land taken to erect the Statue of Unity. Since the statue has been constructed on the Sadhu Bet Island on the Narmada River, visitors can see the Sardar Sarovar Dam laid out in front of them from there.

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But the authorities took no chances in case community groups staged protests to condemn the decision to spend 29.9 billion rupees ($400 million) -much of it public funds- to build the statue over a almost four-year period.

Balloons in the colours of the Indian flag were release, and air force planes showered flower petals on the statue, which was built at a cost of over $881 million - a bill which proved controversial. Around 3,000 workers and 250 engineers worked together to create this statue.

He further said the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) had thought about the project long back when he was the chief minister of Gujarat. However, the statue has been named as the "Statue of Unity".

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At 182 meters (587 feet), the statue is more than twice the size of the Statue of Liberty in New York City.

Sardar Patel was a deputy prime minister in India's first post-independence government.

"On Sardar Patel's birthday, we hope the country remains united", the Trinamool Congress (TMC) chief said. Even the outer layer of statue required over 1,700 tonnes of bronze.

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"The statue will go on to become the symbol of Sardar's vow and bravery that he displayed in uniting the country", said Modi, adding that the statue is also the symbol farmers of the country whose soil and tools became the foundation of the statue. The current design would make it 212 metres high.

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