Rs 200 crore for Statue of Unity: Social media questions government’s obsession

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Statue of Unity
Social media is abuzz over Finance Minister Arun Jaitley's sanctioning Rs 200 crore for Prime Minister Narendra Modi's dream project for building Statue of Unity, a larger than life image of Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel, in the union budget. Government's decision to grant 200 crore for erection of a statue at a time when the country is facing economic crisis has been termed by many as nothing but a way of wasting taxpayers' money.

Crucial sectors neglected?

The Modi Government in its maiden budget has allocated Rs 100 crore for as many as 29 sectors while a sum of just Rs 150 crore were sanctioned for important area like women's safety. People are crying foul over Government's ignoring crucial sector like this.

Project's cost goes up:

The 182-metre high statue of Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel built on an island near Sardar Sarovar dam is expected be two-time taller than the Statue of Liberty in the US, was estimated to cost about Rs 2063 crore. Meanwhile, engineering giant L&T, while tendering its bid for the project, has now pegged the total cost at Rs 2,980 crore. This is surely going to draw few more criticism.

A budget of Rs 150 crore were sanctioned for women’s safety

As per an Indian Express report, L&T's bid of Rs 2,980 crore for the project includes operation and maintenance of 15 years. Despite allocation of Rs 500 crore from the Gujarat Government, the iron collection drive for the project is also facing hurdles since as many as 16 states have not contributed anything for the project.

A section of people expressed its rage on social media and termed it sheer wastage of money and that it was nothing but a move to fund the Prime Minister's dream.

Project will create jobs, revenue in future:

Then there was also a section which welcomed the move and emphasised on the jobs this project would create and attract tourism once completed.

The monument would not only own the reputation of world's tallest statue but a national park near Sadar Sarovar dam would also be established to develop the entire region as a tourist spot. The state Government has already started working in this direction. These two features will together attract tourists from all over the world and will in turn help to contribute to livelihood generation, tribal development and environment protection.

Hence, there is a divide in opinion among people over this particular move. One is opposing it as the move is not going to directly benefit them while the others are praising government for its futuristic approach.

Various BJP icons find maiden mention:

In the first of its kind, the Government has announced various development programmes and schemes after former BJP and Jan Sangh leaders' names instead of Gandhi family. Attempting to revive the legacies of icons like Syama Prasad Mookerjee, Deendayal Upadhyay, Madan Mohan Malviya and Jai Prakash Narayan the government has launched various programmes in their names.

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