Kevadia (Gujarat) [India], Sept 17 (ANI): Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday said that Statue of Unity brought Kevadia and state of Gujarat on the tourism map of the world. The prime minister highlighted that more than 23 lakh people have come to see the tallest statue of the world since it was unveiled last year.
"The discussion of the Statue of Unity is natural when it comes to tourism. Due to this, Kevadia and Gujarat have figured prominently on the tourism map of the whole world. It has been released only for 11 months, but so far more than 23 lakh tourists have come here from the country and the world," he said while addressing a public event here.
"An average of 8,500 tourists are coming every day to the Statue of Unity. I am told that on the day of Janmashtami last month, more than 34 thousand tourists reached here. Only 10,000 visit Statue of Liberty in America every day. It was constructed 133 years ago and Statue of Unity was opened eight months ago," he added.
Modi had announced to build the statue when he was Gujarat's Chief Minister in memory of India's first Deputy Prime Minister Sardar Patel who is credited with uniting all 562 princely states of the pre-independent country to build the Republic of India.
The 182-metre statue is located on the Sadhu Bet Island on Narmada river in Gujarat.
The Prime Minister said that when all projects related to Statue of Unity will be completed it will pave way new employment opportunities for local people.
"Statue of Unity is also becoming a new medium of employment for the tribal sisters, brothers and youth of this place. In the coming time, when the roads here, other projects related to tourism here will be completed, it will generate new employment opportunities," he said.
"In our culture, it has always been believed that development can happen even while protecting the environment. We worship nature and it is our ornament. A live example of how development can be done while preserving the environment is now seen in Kevadiya," he said.
"On one side is the Sardar Sarovar dam, there are electricity-generating equipment, on the other side there are very beautiful arrangements related to eco-tourism like Ekta Nursery, Butter-fly Garden. Amidst all this, a grand statue of Sardar Patel is seen blessing us," the Prime Minister said.
Highlighting that a 'Triveni' of development, nature, and tourism flowing in Kevadia, Modi urged people to protect the area from plastic.
"This area has to be protected from plastic. The whole country is trying to get rid of single-use plastic. I am aware that all of you are engaged in this work under the cleanliness drive. Our efforts should be fast for this," he said.
The Prime Minister said it is an unforgettable moment as the water in Sardar Sarovar Dam filled till 138 meters.
"The dream that Sardar Patel had dreamed of is being fulfilled decades later, and that too in front of the grand statue of Sardar Saheb. We have seen the Sardar Sarovar dam full for the first time. There was a time when reaching the target of 122 meters was a big deal. But today, within 5 years, it is amazing and unforgettable to see that Sardar Sarovar is filled till 138 meters," he said.
"Today is also the birth anniversary of Vishwakarma ji, the god of creation and creation. In the resolution that we are moving towards creating a new India, creativity like Lord Vishwakarma and willpower to achieve big goals is very important," Modi added.
The Prime Minister said that he will achieve every goal of new India with the inspiration of Sardar Patel.
"Today both the Sardar Sarovar Dam and the world's tallest statue of Sardar Saheb symbolize that willpower. I believe that with his inspiration we will prove every resolve associated with the new India, we will achieve every goal. Today's occasion is also very emotional," he said.
"The enthusiasm in Kevadiya today, the same enthusiasm can be seen across Gujarat. Today the work of cleaning the locks, ponds, lakes, rivers is being done. There is also a program to plant trees on a large scale in the coming days. This is admirable. This is an inspiration to Jal, Jeevan Mission. Water conversation is going to be successful in the future," the Prime Minister said. (ANI)