Statue of Unity project has no environmental clearance, say activists

This was an eco-sensitive zone, involving massive infrastructure, they say

December 23, 2013 12:16 am | Updated November 16, 2021 09:02 pm IST - Ahmedabad:

Sadhu Bet, the island on the Narmada where the statue of Sardar Patel is to be built in Gujarat. Photo: Vivek Bendre

Sadhu Bet, the island on the Narmada where the statue of Sardar Patel is to be built in Gujarat. Photo: Vivek Bendre

Around 50 environmentalists from across the country have written to the Union Environment Ministry that Chief Minister Narendra Modi’s pet project, Statue of Unity, envisaging a 182- metre statue of Sardar Patel inside Narmada river, 3.2 km downstream of Sardar Sarovar Dam and Shoolpaneshar Sanctuary, was working without environment approval.

This was an eco-sensitive zone, involving massive infrastructure. Work had started without the mandatory environment and social impact assessment or any public consultation process either, they said. “This is clearly illegal, in violation of the Environment Protection Act, 1986 and EIA notification of September 2006 and a number of NGT and Court orders about such massive kind of construction on the riverbed. On 31 October 2013, the foundation stone was laid for the project amidst huge fanfare and media attention. Tenders have also been floated. Even the work for the Garudeshwar weir, proposed about 12 km downstream of the Sardar Sarovar Dam, began without any social or environmental impact assessment, public consultation and environmental clearance from the Environmental Sub Group (ESG) of Narmada Control Authority’s (NCA),” the environmentalists said.

The website >http://www.statueofunity.in/ pointed out that the project cost was more than Rs. 2,500 crore. The Government of Gujarat website clearly stated that it would be “a monument that will not just be a mute memorial like the rest, but a fully functional, purpose-serving tribute that will boost tourism and facilitate development in the surrounding tribal areas.”

Top News Today

Sign in to unlock member-only benefits!
  • Access 10 free stories every month
  • Save stories to read later
  • Access to comment on every story
  • Sign-up/manage your newsletter subscriptions with a single click
  • Get notified by email for early access to discounts & offers on our products
Sign in

Comments

Comments have to be in English, and in full sentences. They cannot be abusive or personal. Please abide by our community guidelines for posting your comments.

We have migrated to a new commenting platform. If you are already a registered user of The Hindu and logged in, you may continue to engage with our articles. If you do not have an account please register and login to post comments. Users can access their older comments by logging into their accounts on Vuukle.