Asian giants in race to build Sardar Patel's 'Statue of Unity'
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If the consultant for Statue of Unity - Turner Project Management – is a consortium of North American and European companies, Asian giant firms are vying to get a contract to build what is proposed to be the world's largest statue in the state.
Civil engineering giants -- including three Indian companies, and one South Korean and Chinese company – have shown interest in building the Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel statue on Sadhu Island, some 3.2 km from Sardar Sarovar Dam in Kevadia Colony of Narmada district.
Chief Minister Narendra Modi, for whom it is a pet project, has started a nation-wide mobilisation by asking farmers of seven lakh villages to donate iron from their farming equipment to be melted and used for4 the construction of the statue.
Modi laid the foundation stone for the statue on October 31, the birth anniversary of Sardar Patel. The awarding of the construction contract, which was earlier fixed for December 6, has been pushed forward by the Sardar Vallabhai Patel Rashtriya Ekta Trust (SVPRET) -- a special purpose vehicle formed by the Gujarat government to execute the project under Sardar Sarovar Narmada Nigam Limited.
"The big companies that have shown interest have asked for more time to chalk out technical details for the tender," said a top-level SVPRET official.
The Asian giants in the fray -- Shapoorji Pallonji Engineering and Constructions (India), JMC Projects (India) Limited, L&T(India) and Samsung C&T Corporation (Sourth Korea) -- can boast of world wide operations. The fourth firm, a Chinese company – that built Spring Temple Buddha, which to date is the tallest statue in the world – is also likely to be in the fray with an Indian partner. The designing, engineering, procuring and construction tender in this regard was floated by SVPRET in August.