-Bet Island (Gujarat) [India], Oct 31 (ANI): Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurated Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel's 'Statue of Unity' on the occasion his 143rd birth anniversary on Wednesday.
Located on Sadhu-Bet Island, Gujarat, the 182-metre tall statue occupies over 20,000 square meters, and is surrounded by a 12 square km artificial lake. The structure has the accolade of being the tallest statue in the world.
The birthday of India's Iron Man is being observed as Rashtriya Ekta Diwas or National Unity Day since the year 2014.
The day is be marked by people taking a pledge to protect the unity and integrity of the nation and is also marked by Run for Unity events being organised across the country.
Gujarat Deputy Chief Minister Nitin Patel expressed hope that the landmark structure will boost tourism in the state.
"The whole country is waiting for the inauguration of the statue. Tourists will feel good here in the natural environment. Tourism will increase here on a large scale which is good for our country," Patel told the gathering ahead of the inauguration.
The total project cost is estimated to be Rs. 2,989 crore.
Apart from Prime Minister Modi, Gujarat Chief Minister Vijay Rupani, Madhya Pradesh Governor Anandiben Patel and Bhartiya Janata Party (BJP) president Amit Shah were also present at the event. Tamil Nadu Ministers Kadambur Raju and Ma Foi K. Pandiarajan are also present at the event. (ANI)