IS IT WORTH SPENDING HUGE AMOUNT OF MONEY IN STATUE OF UNITY?
The state of Gujarat has been in headlines for last six months as the construction of the world’s tallest statue- The Statue of Unity was under progress. It is a tribute to Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel on his 143rd birth anniversary and it symbolises the unification of India post - independence. Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel was independent India’s first deputy Prime Minister and Home Minister, popularly known as the ‘Iron Man of India’ for his role in bringing about the merger of the princely states post- independence. It is indeed a proud moment for all the Indians all over the world as our country has left behind many developed nations behind. Our Prime Minister Mr. Narendra Modi has inaugurated the statue on 31 October 2018. It is prepared by investing a huge amount of 2,989 crores. But the question arises -Is it worth spending such huge amount of money??
As estimated by experts, this amount could have instead funded two new Indian Institute of Technology(IIT) campuses, five Indian Institute of Management(IIM) campuses, six Indian Space Research Organisation(ISRO) missions to Mars and five new solar power plants, each producing 75 megawatts of power. The statue’s construction cost is double the estimated amount of proposals submitted to the central government by the Gujarat government. The construction cost could have been used to irrigate 40,192 hectares of land, cover repair, renovation and restoration of 162 minor irrigation schemes and the construction of 425 small check-dams. The government claims that it will increase the number of tourists in the city and boost tourism industry like Paris (which houses Eiffel Tower) or New York (which houses Statue of Liberty) which is indeed a very good idea but it should be kept in mind that our county is still developing whereas the other countries are already developed. Thera are a lot of things that need to be done or need to be improved in our country for the better living standards of the citizens of the country. Major part of population does not have proper food to eat or proper shelter for them even after coming a long way after independence. Thousands of farmers in Gujarat are planning a mass protest against the unveiling of the statue as they are unhappy with the cost of the project and with the lack of adequate rehabilitation efforts and water shortages in the catchment area where the statue is located. They have also threatened to drown themselves in the Narmada river as a part of the protest. The statue’s construction has affected 75,000 tribals across 72 villages in Gujarat’s Narmada district.
Thus, it is a good idea to develop nation and have a good position in front of other countries but the development must not harm anybody and every citizen must be benefitted with it.