Statue of Unity: 300 crocodiles to be relocated from ponds to allow seaplane service
New Delhi, Jan 26: Indian foresters have begun relocating some 300 crocodiles from a reservoir next to the world's tallest statue, the newly erected 182-metre (597-feet) Statue of Unity, to allow a seaplane service for visitors.
The reptiles, the largest around three metres, are being lured into metal cages and moved elsewhere in the western state of Gujarat on the back of pickup trucks.
So far about a dozen crocodiles have been removed and transported on the back of pick-up trucks.
Local forestry official Anuradha Sahu said the instruction had come from the state government "for safety reasons as the tourist influx has increased" to the riverside edifice.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi - who, like Patel, was born in Gujarat - commissioned the statue when he was the state's chief minister in 2010. The statue cost 29.9bn rupees. There are no trains, and most tourists take a bus on a four-lane highway from Vadodora to reach the landmark.