THE ‘Statue of Unity’ (SoU), dedicated to the Iron Man of India, Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel, was constructed by Larsen & Toubro in a record time of 33 months.
At 182 meters (597 feet), the steel, concrete and brass-clad statue, is the tallest in the world. The Buildings & Factories business of the construction arm of L&T had won this prestigious EPC contract for the design and construction of the Statue of Unity from the Government of Gujarat in October 2014 and construction of the raft of the statue began in December 2015.
A statesman par excellence, Sardar Patel is widely considered as the architect of modern India, who was responsible for uniting the newly-independent nation. The SoU, on the Sadhu Bet Island, approximately 3.5 km south of Sardar Sarovar Dam at Kevadia in the Narmada district of Gujarat now stands tall as an inspiration to future generations, a reminder of Sardar Patel’s sterling contribution and a symbol of national harmony and integrity.
On this momentous occasion, S N Subrahmanyan, chief executive officer, and managing director said, “The Statue of Unity, apart from being a symbol of national pride, and integration is also a tribute to India’s engineering skills and project management abilities. Larsen & Toubro has delivered several projects of national significance and we are proud to be associated with building the world’s tallest statue, which is a fitting homage to the Iron Man of India – Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel.”
Subrahmanyan added, “our engineering and construction teams along with the architects, the sculptor, and reputed global consultants, have realised this dream of honourable Prime Minister into reality in record time. Our commitment to scale, speed, and quality in engineering has yielded this desired outcome, which is not only structurally superior but aesthetically appealing as well.”
“It is indeed a tremendous achievement by the Buildings & Factories business vertical,” enthused M V Satish, whole time director & executive vice president – Buildings, Minerals & Metals. “Right from concept through the entire process of developing the design, the features, and characteristics of the statue, the engineering, project planning, logistics, cost controls, were all managed extremely efficiently and reflects a triumph of teamwork. We are proud to have built a monument that makes the country proud and delighted that through this we are honoring a towering Indian personality.”
The SoU complex comprises an exhibition centre at its base, a memorial garden, a designer bridge connecting Sadhu Island with the mainland along the Narmada River, an internal roadway of 5 km length, improvements to the existing roads /bridges/ culverts connecting the area of Sadhu Island. It also hosts an administrative complex and a star rated hotel (Shrestha Bharat Bhavan) and a conference centre.
The statue, a towering piece of engineering by L&T, is conceived as a naturalistic depiction of Sardar Patel in his characteristic garb in a walking pose. It rises out of a star-shaped, geometric base that covers the entire Sadhu Hill. The statue has a unique, slender width to height ratio, far more exacting than existing technical norms that call for special engineering considerations. The structure has two vertical cores each housing a high-speed passenger elevator. The vertical cores support the steel frames to which about 6,500 bronze panels are clad. A viewing gallery at the level at the chest, can accommodate up to 200 visitors at one go and affords a breath-taking view of the Sardar Sarovar dam and its environs.