If you want a taste of what is so wrong with the world, read this news clip from India. The US firm behind the cloud-sniffing Burj Khalifa in Dubai, Turner Construction, has been awarded a $450 million contract to build a a 392 foot tower of Sardar Vallabhbhai Jhaverbhai Patel in a country where 230 million people go hungry every day.
Called the Statue of Unity, the world’s tallest statue will be placed in the middle of the Narmada River, according to the Times of India, right across the way from one of the world’s biggest dams.
Michael Graves and Associates from the US and Mindheart from Germany are also among the contractors who will work on the mammoth tribute to one of the founding fathers of modern India, the Times of India reports.
“The life of a man, as great as Sardar Patel, is something that India cannot simply afford to fade away into pages of history,” reads a statement on the Statue of Unity’s website.
“To keep him alive in the hearts of the generations to come is the only true tribute that he can be commemorated with. It is thus in order to make Sardar Patel a source of inspiration for every generation, that such a massive project is being undertaken,” it continues.
The soaring statue of “Iron Man of India” will be 54m higher than the current record holder, the Spring Temple Buddha statue in China built in 2002, notes Arabian Business.
And it’s going to cost a small fortune. Nevermind that 44% of the country’s children are undernourished and that 7% die before they reach the age of five as a result.
Of course, the Statue of Unity project will be accompanied by a museum of Sardar Patel’s life and work along with a gallery, a laser light show, recreation areas and a restaurant and cafe – all of which, we will be told, should create jobs and generate income for the local community.
The entire facility will be reached by ferry in order to minimize pollution and should be complete within the next five years or so.
With any luck, the statue will be so tall that Sardar Patel himself will be able to see it from his perch in the sky.