If certain media reports are to be believed, 700 workers will come to Gujarat from China by the end of October to complete the construction process of the"Statue of Unity" that is to be built in honour of Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel.
The project, launced by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, is scheduled to be finished in 2018. It will see Patel's statue rise to182 metres to enter the Guinness World Records for the "world's tallest statue", according to news reports.
Indian constructing giant Larsen & Toubro won the Rs. 2,989 crore project. To build the "bronze parts" of the statue, L&T reportedly chose Jiangxi Tongging Metal Handicrafts Company in China for the job, it being the "world's biggest foundry".
With reports coming in of the 'Made in China' statue, the opposition Congress has criticised Modi saying that this project defeats his "Make in India" initiative, The Indian Express reported. However, Modi has launched a campaing to gather farm tools for the project, symbolising "unfying the country".
The officials of Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel Rashtriya Ekta Trust (SVPRET), which is a special initiative directed by Gujarat Chief Minister Anandiben Patel, said that "high quality prototypes of precast facade" will be shipped from China and accumulated at Sadhu Bet, the site where the statue will be installed.
"They (L&T) will be getting 25,000 pieces of bronze from China... The company is free to get the material from the best possible place," K Srinivas, member secretary of SVPRET said.
Huan Chang, the son of the owner of the Jiangxi Tongging foundry, said that their past experience of building a 153-metre tall copper tower for the Tianning Temple in Changzhou compelled L&T to choose them over other foundries, Outlook reported.
We are at present making a 30-feet bronze statue here in our studio in Noida. The main statue will be made in China and I will go there to supervise it. We are making the prototype and in China they will enlarge it before casting. It will be made in parts and assembled here," Ram V. Sutar, the 90-year-old Delhi-based designer of the statue said.
However, a spokesperson of L&T said that the statue will be constructed at Sadhu Bet itself, Outlook reported.
"This is not just a statue; it is a memorial. It cannot just be shipped in from somewhere. It will be constructed at workshops which we will create. The foundry and workshops will be created close by," the spokesperson added.
Once completed, the "Statue of Unity" will tower over the 93-metre "Statue of Liberty" in New York.