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Statue team in Ranchi

Ranchi, Dec. 10: A 16-member delegation, led by Gujarat Vidhan Sabha’s deputy Speaker Gangubhai Patel, arrived in Ranchi today to garner support for the Rs 2,500-crore Sardar Patel statue to be built near Sardar Sarovar Bandh in Gujarat.

Under the initiative, a “run for unity” campaign will be organised across the country on December 15 to ensure maximum participation in a nationwide drive to collect iron for construction of the proposed “Statue of Unity” based on Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel, popularly known as the Iron Man of India.

It is claimed that the statue, the foundation of which was laid by BJP’s prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi on October 31, will be 182m tall — about double the height of Statue of Liberty.

“Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel had played a key role in uniting princely states after freedom from colonial rulers. His statue will symbolise India’s unity in diversity. We are going to use earth, water and agricultural tools from every village across the country,” said Gangubhai Patel at a news conference in Ranchi.

He added a series of events had been lined up over the next few weeks to mobilise mass support for the cause. The run for unity campaign would kick off across the country at 8am on December 15. In Ranchi, it will start from Sainik Market and commence at Albert Ekka Chowk.

This apart, quiz competitions on national unity would be organised in all schools in the coming days, Patel added.

Elaborating on the project, the Gujarat deputy Speaker, who is also the chairman of Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel National Integrity Trust, said the statue would come up on Sadhu Bet Island, around 3.32km from Sardar Sarovar Bandh.

“Latest technologies will be used in construction of the statue, which will become an important tourist centre. Specially designed lifts will be installed to help visitors get a closer look at the statue and enjoy the scenic beauty of Sardar Sarovar. Also, facilities for light and sound programmes will be installed at the site. Besides, an agriculture research centre and a university will be set up,” he added.

Patel added that pictures of all panchayat representatives participating in the drive to make the project a success would be displayed at the site.

The delegation is expecting a good response from the people of state.

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