Saturday, August 19, 2017

No question of stopping import of Chinese bronze plates for Statue of Unity's "outer shine": Gujarat government

By Our Representative
Efforts may have been stepped up across India to boycott Chinese goods against the backdrop of the current standoff with the giant neighbour – with Mumbai’s association of school principals calling for a boycott of Chinese goods, and the Swadeshi Jagran Manch listing out several reasons for the need for boycott, one of them being China “trying” to impose its hegemony over India.
While all of this is said to have been inspired by the Sangh Parivar, well-placed sources in the BJP government in Gujarat have told Counterview this is “not going to affect” the continuous import of bronze plates from China for “coating” the world’s tallest 182 metres high statue off Narmada dam of Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel.
These Chinese bronze plates, each of 8 mm width, a senior official close to the Gujarat chief minister said, would be give Sardar Patel’s statue the “outer shine, underneath which are already being installed the statue’s iron structure, including the lift. The bronze plates are being molded and fixed by Larsen & Tuorbo, the contractors of the Statue of Unity.”
Insisting that the continued import of bronze plates has been “necessitated” by the pressure to complete the building of the Statue of Unity by mid-2018 – about a year from the scheduled Lok Sabha elections, which are in April-May 2019 -- the official told Counterview, “Sardar Patel’s statue has already begun being clad by bronze plates.”
Pointing out that the bronze plates, which are reaching the statue site in South Gujarat in batches from an art foundry of a factory in Nanchang, the capital of Jiangxi Province in southeastern China, the official admitted, “Similar bronze plates are also available in India, as also elsewhere.”
However, he underlined, “Once the contract has been given for the supply of the bronze plates from the Chinese factory, and 50% of it having already been arrived, it is impossible to cancel it. After all, it is necessary to keep uniformity. Besides, the quality of the bronze plates from China is very high.”
Denying reports that the entire statue is being made of Chinese steel, the official said, “The bronze plates would form just about 5% of the total iron used on the statue.” He added, “The bronze plates are of different sizes, depending on where it will be placed.”
The official claimed, “The statue, starting from the base, the statue is of 225 metres, is already completed up to 150 metres, and has become a tourist attraction off Narmada dam, which till now was attracted because of the massive overflow of waters at 121.92 metres. This overflow is no more possible as the dam’s 30 gates have been closed.”
To be built at the cost of around Rs 3,000 crore, and visualized by Prime Minister Narendra Modi when he was Gujarat chief minister, the project was announced in October 2010. A special purpose vehicle, Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel Rashtriya Ekta Trust (SVPRET), is overlooking the construction of the statue.
To be made of 75,000 cubic metres of concrete, 5,700 metric tonne steel structure, 18,500 tonne reinforced steel rods, 22,500 tonne bronze sheets, it will have fast elevators to reduce transit time to take the visitors to the top, and will have three-level base – exhibit floor, mezzanine and roof, which will contain a Memorial Garden and a large continuous museum/exhibition hall.

1 comment:

Uma Sheth said...

hypocrisy, double standards: you see this all around you all the time