The clamour against the Statue of Unity was tremendous. The entire anti-Modi brigade rose up unanimously to criticise the project employing hollow and illogical arguments like ‘imagine how many people could’ve been fed in 4,000 crore!’
There were pathetically baseless and tendentious assessments made by some on social media regarding the income that the statue would generate – one moronic figure mentioned was Rs. 2.5 crore per year – and how it would take centuries for the investment to be recovered. Although it is of no surprise that these people intentionally gave false numbers to defame Narendra Modi for one of their bosses too had claimed that a bullet train ticket would cost Rs. 75,000 and we know how laughable that was.
Anyway. Smashing naysayers’ negative assessments the same way Sardar Patel had in real decimated anti-India designs by uniting India, the Statue of Unity has generated an income of Rs. 71.6 crore in one year by selling over 26 lakh tickets!
Gujarat currently attracts about 5 crore tourists every year. This is expected to rise to 7.5 crore in the next few years credit in abundance to the Statue of Unity.
Freedom of speech is one thing but the kind of statements that were made against the Statue of Unity can only be termed as asinine. Due to the project the local area which was a heavily backward one is seeing unprecedented, almost dream-like transformation. Numerous locals have got jobs, many have started their own businesses, others are selling whatever little they produce or pluck from trees at the site of the Statue earning a livelihood. Restaurants and hotels are coming up nearby, transport business has picked up especially in Vadodara which is the closest city that’s well-connected to the rest of the country and numerous other allied activities are doing well thus generating jobs. From the poorest (roadside vendors) to the richest (travel companies and airlines) all are benefiting due to the tourism the Statue of Unity has created.
A Lot More to Come!
Holistic development is what tourism brings. The government now plans to build an airport at Rajpipla which is a town 26 km from the Statue. Kevadia, where the Statue is situated, will soon have a railway station and will be connected with stations like Ahmedabad and Vadodara.
If you think that the Statue is all that Prime Minister Modi had in mind then think again because the sheer variety of attractions coming up will astonish you!
Children’s Nutrition Park: The park will aim to raise awareness about various aspects of nutrition for children. The tour of the park will be conducted through a train ride.
Mirror Maze: The maze will feature a myriad of mirrors and its tour will be made exciting by obstacles while navigating from the beginning till the end.
Digital Forest: This attraction, spread over 1.5 acres, will give an incredible virtual experience of all the components of a forest including the tribal lifestyle. This will be done through 3D holographic display and interactive films.
Ferry Service: A 7-kilometre long ferry service will begin from the Shreshtha Bharat Bhawan to the Statue of Unity.
Dino Trail: During the Cretaceous period, on an island in the Narmada Valley lived Rajasaurus Narmadensis, a newly discovered endemic species, found only in Gujarat. A replica of this dinosaur will be placed for visitors to witness on the Vindhya mountains. The desire to make humans feel how it must have been to be amidst dinosaurs.
Ekta Auditorium: A 1700 square metre auditorium is being built to host numerous socio-cultural programs related to music, dance, drama, workshops, conferences, food and art, and literature festivals.
Ekta Nursery: Prime Minister Modi’s goal is that when a visitor goes back home he should take with him a seedling as a Plant of Unity. A staggering 10 lakh plants are being targeted of which 3 lakh are already in the ‘ready to sell’ stage.
Cactus Garden: Spread over 830 square metres of land, this garden is home to more than 500 species of cactus and succulent plants.
Butterfly Garden: The garden covers 6 acres of area and has 45 species of plants and 38 species of butterflies.
Vishwa Van: Vishwa Van or Global Forest will contain herbs, shrubs and trees native to all 7 continents. It is being developed in an area of 2 hectares.
Arogya Van: This garden will exhibit a wide range of medicinal plants and health-related landscapes to increase awareness about the role plants play in the wellness of human beings.
Bharat Van: The Bharat Van will feature over half a million flowering species planted in an area of 10 hectares.
Cycling Tour: Cycling tours to discover the region will be started for visitors. Two types of tours will be offered – Tour-de-Khalwani and Tour-de-Zarvani.
River Rafting: River Rafting on the Narmada will be another massive attraction for tourists.
Jungle Safari: The Kevadia Zoological Park and Safari will cover 5,58,240 square metres on the right bank of the Narmada. This park will be home to more than 170 species of fauna and will feature some of India’s endangered species like the Asiatic lion, the Royal Bengal Tiger and Leopard.